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Re: [Video] Yu Suzuki SM3 Interview on Niconico Live [Englis

Try this:

In 'Video Manager', try posting a label that starts at least 30 seconds before and lasts throughout the spoilery bit, warning massively of spoilers! Post this hyperlink on that label in there:

Links to the same video, but jumps to that specific time
Thanks a lot.

Spoiler guard now fitted :twisted:
by Switch
Wed Jul 15, 2015 12:02 pm
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Project Berkley article translation (Nov 1998)

This is a translation of an article that was published in the November 1998 edition of the Dreamcast Magazine .

This date of this article, November 1998, is the month before the Premiere Event of Shenmue would be held, and the gaming world was buzzing with anticipation. Little had been publicly shared about the game, even its real name - it was known then as "Project Berkley", a name that Yu Suzuki has mentioned elsewhere that he chose because it "had a nice ring to it", as well as matching the name of the famous US University. (Although the spelling used in the magazines differs slightly from the actual university name which is "Berekely" with an extra "e").

It's clear that this article and others like it at that time had little solid information to go on regarding details of the game; but it does include an interview with Yu Suzuki, so here it is for nostalgia's sake.

Related links:
1. Project Berkley - English Subtitled - (video) 2. Shenmue Premiere Event video (short version, English subtitles)

Yu Suzuki's Latest Game: Code-name Project Berkley

"At the end of December I’m planning to hold a premiere event, which will be the largest ever held. Please look forward to it!" , announced Yu Suzuki on the last day of the Tokyo Game Show, as the general public looked on. The expression on the face of Kenji Eno and the other attendees at the Creators’ Conference in reaction to the words "largest ever" was memorable, but what exactly does Yu mean by "the largest ever"? There’s no doubt it’s something that many, including the many fans who heard it at the event, are extremely keen to find out. In the official notice we received the other day from the AM2 Division, the date of the premiere event is confirmed as 20 December (Sunday), to be held at Pacifico Yokohama. The notice covered these two pieces of information, but didn’t reveal anything more...

Devotion & Passion

Yu Suzuki is extremely busy at the moment. Busier than ever before, even compared to busy periods in memory from the past. Over these past few years, what with holding position as head of the AM2 Division which has greatly grown in staff numbers, as well as director of the Amusement Machine Research and Development Division (currently an executive officer), there were periods when he was not able to find free time to spend in the role of game creator. However, with this latest project, Project Berkley, almost all of the time he has is devoted to its creation. For this reason, being able to meet Yu Suzuki at this present time, as a magazine media journalist, is something that can only be called extremely fortunate. That’s how busy he is. And, this is how much Yu Suzuki is staking on Project Berkley. In his own words, saying it is "the culmination of 15 years" is no exaggeration. The way he pours his passion into this project is inspiring.

Gradual Revelation

For Yu Suzuki it will already be the third generation of Sega home console he has worked with, since the MegaDrive. In this article of Dreamcast Magazine, which has been reborn to target this new hardware, we will be covering how Yu is finding this, including the recent status of the project. It is a game shrouded in mystery. However the game’s greatness is not something that will be diminished even if we set some of the details aside until closer to December's premiere event, nor is it a game that will find itself out-shone by a rival new game sneaking up quietly. And so, given the mind-boggling scale of the game, it's better we don't rush along, but reveal it one part at a time. And so, we would be happy if our readers would pause a little over the next period, to read information that will be revealed little-by-little as we go forwards, such as the premiere event, the newly-proposed genre name and some key words related to the game. This is a moment when the history of gaming is about to change. Such a moment may only come along once in several years, so it’s surely not a bad idea to follow along.

Premiere Event Venue

First, let’s look at the premiere event venue, Pacifico Yokohama. This venue has a capacity of 5000 attendees. In terms of its size, it is about the size of the Tokyo International Forum venue where announcements for games like D2 and Sonic Adventure were held. We asked Yu why the choice of Yokohama:

"Actually, from a transport access standpoint, Tokyo would definitely have been preferable, but we couldn’t find an available venue in Tokyo, for that time. This was a venue comparable to the Tokyo International Forum. Really I would have liked to have held it at the Tokyo Dome " laughs Yu unconcernedly. It’s hard to tell if he is being serious or joking... However, with his affable smile, it doesn’t really matter.
The Pacifico Convention Center in Yokohama
The event venue will held at be the Pacifico convention center in Yokohama. The pie-slice shape of the Intercontinental Hotel in the Minato-mirai area should serve as a landmark to head for. The closest station is the JR Sakuragi-cho station. It’s about 12 minutes from there by travelator, or 5 minutes by taxi; or you could stroll around the area on the way there. There are plenty of places to fill in time nearby like Landmark Tower and Queen’s Square Yokohama. Look for further details in a future issue of Dreamcast Magazine!

"The time of the event, and how many times it will be held, haven’t been decided yet, but the length of the event will be longer than the one for Sonic". The premiere event for Sonic Adventure in August was around 70 minutes long, suggesting the length may be around 2 hours. "Even people who are not interested in games are sure to enjoy what we have in store, so people should not hesitate to come along and bring their friends or girlfriend. And after Yokohama, I’m planning to hold the same event in several cities around the country after the New Year, somewhat like a road show." The candidate locations are still under consideration, and it is also yet to be decided whether Yu himself will be attending the additional events. However, it would be well worth going to see even if Yu is not present. Every attendee is sure to feel satisfied at seeing the kind of images they had not imagined possible. The images are evolving and improving daily with an amazing momentum. This will be something not to be missed.

A New Genre

"I wanted to avoid calling it an RPG... Because what I think of as an RPG, and what other people think of as an RPG, may be two different things. So instead of the genre of RPG, I thought up a new genre name for it".

After considering long and hard, Yu Suzuki came up with the name "FREE". So going forward, the name of the genre for Project Berkley has been revised from "RPG?" to "FREE".

"Starting with Hang-On, I’ve been making games for ten-something years, and this project is the culmination of those years, where I have brought together all those elements. I wanted to try creating something that gives you a lot more freedom than games that have come before; fewer restrictions. In that sense, you can say it is "FREE". It’s also the first letters of Full Reactive Eyes Entertainment. "Full" has connotations of completeness; it’s part of the word "full-scale". And so "Full Reactive" means reacting completely. Eyes – we have one pair, left and right. This suggests such concepts as "having two aspects", "the front vs the reverse side", "positive and negative", or taking it further, "the creator and the user", "reality and surrealism (or virtual reality)", "the past and the future". One of these words by itself doesn’t tell the whole story - they always form a pair to make a complete set. Mixing the two opposing concepts makes them well-balanced. Also, another reason I chose to use Eyes is that the human eyes represent one of the most sensitive and delicate parts of the human body and functions. So the meaning of FREE can be "having extremely sensitive eyes that react to everything around", or "a full-action game having a sensitive point of view".
Above: The pamphlet that was handed out at the Sega New Challenge Conference II event (front, back). The genre of "RPG" has now been revised as shown below...
A large cross covers the "RPG" symbol, being replaced by the letters "FREE". "FREE" stands for Full Reactive Eyes Entertainment, a completely new genre.

The meaning may still not be entirely clear even after this explanation, but Yu doesn’t forget an important point: "What’s really important is communicating a message to the people that play, and the thing I’m most afraid of is that the message I want to tell gets disrupted for some reason like the game being too difficult. For this day and age, I want to properly convey to children those precious things that should be held dear. That’s the strong wish I have, and I hope to be able to make that kind of story."

To achieve this, a vast world has been prepared, together with an astonishing number of characters that make an appearance. Once people have seen this, they are sure to grasp the essence of the FREE genre. The pleasant experience of travelling "freely" through a carefully-crafted world: the day when a part of this can be experienced is almost here.
Scoop! The Contents of the Special Disk Supplied with the Dreamcast version of VF 3tb!
Every purchase of the Dreamcast version of Virtua Fighter 3tb will come with a Special Disk. As we have previously reported, this freebie disk contains secret footage about Project Berkley, but now we have been able to gradually confirm certain aspects of the contents: Yu Suzuki will be featuring in it, and will be speaking about the past through to the future. It will be able to be viewed on an actual Dreamcast. Also, you will be able to hear some of the music, which is an important part of the game. Furthermore, the official name of the game will also be announced within. Everything will be revealed on this single disk, on November 27.

Yu Suzuki Speaks About Project Berkley

Even after gathering together the fragments of information available, at the current point it’s likely no one is able to imagine how Project Berkley really is. Conversely, even after viewing the special disk that to be supplied with Virtua Fighter 3tb on November 27, that won’t be enough to understand the true nature of Project Berkley. That’s because, while it does contain some clips, it can be said that they show parts that are not the essence of the game.

When I first heard about the game from Yu Suzuki, I recall an interesting allegory he told me. "Let’s say you are pouring coffee for someone, and you ask them how many lumps of sugar they want. And they answer with one lump, or two lumps. Then you confirm their choice with them, and pass them the appropriate amount, right? Well, present-day RPG games are just like that. There are one or two paths prepared for the player. However, what I want to do is different from that: You want sugar? Sure, here you go – and I want to be able to hand you a whole jar containing many lumps of sugar. Or if it’s milk, rather than measuring it out, I want to grab the whole bottle and pass it across." When I heard this story, I hadn’t yet seen any actual images and couldn’t really imagine what Yu meant, but once you see some of the images from Project Berkley, you’ll understand in a flash. It’s not just a story about a minor counting difference; it’s something applied in a single leap right to the architecture of that world.

Let’s take one more concrete example. Yu Suzuki has said that "With this game, 1 million players will have a million different experiences". Yu goes further on this topic: "For example, let’s say you were on your way to school as normal. On the way, if you happened to see someone at the intersection wearing no clothes, that would definitely make an impression, right? When you get to school, the first thing you would say is ‘On the way to school I saw a weird guy!’ (laughs) And to change to a different topic, movies - it’s often the case that with a movie of say 2 hours, the first 2 hours are entirely preparation for the ending of the movie, right? In a lot of movies, everything that happens until the last scene is preparation for showing the ending. However, I’m not trying to do it that way. It’s true that there exists one main story, but it’s a world where the process taken along the way during the 50 hours or 100 hours of play isn’t there merely as preparation for the final scene. Of course, everything connects together, but excluding a certain world, it’s like being able to experience virtual reality. So, it’s ok not to progress towards the final scene. How can I put it... it’s like Doraemon ’s "Anywhere Door" (laughs), so you can visit places whenever you like. And you can do that over and over. It’s like experiencing actual daily life. Like a kind of virtual reality tool (laughs)". You could say that these words sum up one of the characteristics of Project Berkley. However, that’s not all that Project Berkley is. This game introduces a large number of world-first technical initiatives. Each one of these helps to propel this game to be something novel and unlike any of the games that have come before. All the latest technology accumulated by Yu Suzuki over the last 3 years has been ambitiously incorporated into this game, and it is sure to impress anyone who sees it.

As we wrote at the start of this article, Yu Suzuki’s devotion to this project is anything but ordinary, but these technical innovations are now proving their worth, as endorsed by the amazing graphical improvements in Project Berkley that have rapidly occurred recently. If characters such as those seen in the Final Fantasy movie were to be animated in real time... That is something we’d like you to check with your own eyes at the premiere event.

Few Hints

At present, the information made available to us about Project Berkley has been scarce at best. What has been made available is a preview pamphlet announcing the return of Yu Suzuki after 3 years, and an edition of the pamphlet that revises its genre name. There are some minor changes in the background design of the revised version, but "that doesn’t really have any particular meaning" confides Yu Suzuki...

More On the Premiere Event

Regarding the length of the premiere event being longer than that of Sonic, Yu Suzuki says: "The graphical footage for Project Berkley is kept in my room right now on 60-minute digital video tapes, and there about 25 of them on that shelf. Of course, that’s not everything though, but just what’s there is about 25 hours of video (laughs). I don’t know for sure yet, but I’m thinking of showing about 40 minutes to an hour of video at the premiere event". I feel a bit concerned that so much footage will be revealed all at once, but it seems that Yu Suzuki has already made a calm analysis: "If I recall correctly, there was about 7 minutes of Dreamcast footage shown at the D2 event. And I think the game footage shown at the Sonic Adventure event was about 12 minutes. And so, for the premiere event this time I want everyone to be able to see plenty of video compared to those events. I want the content of the event to satisfy everyone who has come along. There may be those who worry that we’ll be giving too much away, but even so it will amount to no more than the equivalent of a preview trailer for a movie (laughs). For example, 1% of 100 hours of footage is 1 hour - so it won’t be a problem. Naturally, if I show around an hour of footage, it will be longer than other premiere events held until now. Also, though it will depend of the number of attendees, for argument’s sake if the event is 2 hours’ long, then no matter how much we try we’ll be limited to holding the event at most 3 times in one day." Ok, then. By the way, for Sonic Adventure the sale of souvenir items seemed to go really well – what sort of things do you have planned for sale this time?

"Details of items are still to be confirmed, but in general there will be things like calendars and post-cards. Also we’ll prepare things like T-shirts." replies Yu. "We have put in a great amount of effort into the music and the text of messages in the game. In particular, I think the music aspect alone will provide everyone with plenty of enjoyment." I have a feeling that Yu’s mention of the planned additional events to be held outside the metropolis being like a "road show" may have some significance. "From the point of view of game fans and their image of me, probably the strongest image they have of me is to do with the game I have put out most recently. So now, my current image is "Yu Suzuki, of Virtua Fighter" or "Yu Suzuki, designer of fighting games". But for me, it’s really not the case at all. (laughs) In fact I’ve also created driving games, and flight games. So from that point of view, for the upcoming premiere event, I’d like lots of people to come – you don’t have to be a fan of Virtua Fighter! I’m sure that even ordinary females who may have no interest in games will really enjoy it. The Special Disk attached to the Dreamcast version of Virtua Fighter tb3 includes a preview of Project Berkley, but by all means people who have not seen seen the preview should also come along. I’ll be happy if lots of people attend, as if they were going to a concert". In any case, with being a game whose wonder can be appreciated from viewing just a small amount of footage, it's well worth marking December 20 on your calendar. And the Yokohama area is an enjoyable place to take a wander over to.

Current Development Status

To finish up, we asked about the current status of development. "Recently things are coming together well. It took quite a while for things to come together, but we’re going at a good speed now. I’d say we’re achieving about twice the speed of a normal project. Our production efficiency is high! (laughs) But the overall amount that needs to be finished off has ballooned. Even though we’re working faster than a normal project, there’s a lot to be done, and that takes time". And at that point, he showed us some previously unseen screens from the actual game. Watch this space...!
by Switch
Sun Aug 30, 2015 3:45 am
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Re: Concept Art Thread (Update 15th July: Jail!)

Latest art tweet from Yu Suzuki.

Baisha geyser
by Switch
Thu Jul 16, 2015 3:11 am
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Re: [Video] Yu Suzuki SM3 Interview on Niconico Live [Englis

The full transcript, taken from the subtitles of the video, is now available as a document for reading.

Sample snippet:
J: I'd like to move on to your latest game that has been announced: Shenmue III.
YS: Sure.
J: Could you tell us about what led to it being revived - What was behind this decision, in terms of reasons and timing?
YS: Well... it has been about 14 years since Shenmue II and during this period I have had the chance to speak overseas fairly regularly. And pretty much every time I went, I would get asked questions such as when Shenmue III would be released. In fact about 80% of the questions I get asked relate to Shenmue; about 10% on the Virtua series; and the rest are about my other games. So the majority is overwhelmingly about Shenmue.
J: Oh, even more than the Virtua series.
YS: That's right. So, a lot of questions have focused on Shenmue and for the past 10 years, each year around March/April, rumors reach me that Shenmue III is going to be released. Whenever I used to hear that, I would say to myself "I wonder who's going to be releasing it" [laughing]


Spoiler protection: the main spoilers in the document have been made invisible with white-colored text, but can be revealed using copy/paste.

View full transcript: Niconico Interview Full transcript (pdf)
by Switch
Fri Jul 17, 2015 2:17 am
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Nocon Kid & Shenmue III

One thing that caught my attention during the Shenmue III Kickstarter twitch, was when Yu Suzuki was talking about Nocon Kid's HD Remaster videos of Shenmue I.

I got the impression from the live English translation that perhaps Nocon Kid would be joining the team or something, saying that Yu Suzuki and he "talked about some exciting things".

But looking at a more direct translation of what Yu Suzuki said, it doesn't sound like he was trying to reveal anything in particular:
I met Nocon Kid, who is Korean, when I was over in South Korea. He spoke very enthusiastically to me on various topics. Both he and I feel very strongly about Shenmue. Since he was speaking Korean, we had an interpreter translating after each sentence and so the conversation flow was a bit delayed - but it was an enjoyable meeting.
Still, if Yu Suzuki has actually met with Nocon Kid, then maybe there's a chance that he can be part of the official project.
by Switch
Sat Jul 18, 2015 1:23 am
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Re: Street Fighter - The Legend of Shenmue

I enjoyed your video, thanks! A lot of similarities when put side by side. Yu Suzuki mentioned recently that Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee movies were a source of inspiration for him with the creation of Shenmue.
by Switch
Fri Jul 17, 2015 10:38 pm
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Re: Too Much Baisha?

I thought the 5 game structures were planned before the E3 and he choose one for the kickstarter with slight variations according the final budget, am I wrong ?
This is also my understanding from Yu's Niconico interview i.e. Yu chose one of the 5 game structures for the Kickstarter. It's a bit confusing because he also talks about budget as being one of the factors he considered in deciding which structure to choose, but I take it to mean that the structure he has chosen is suitable for a budget of around $2 to $10 million achieved through Kickstarter.

From the transcript :
Well, those scenarios will stay based on the underlying story, as I spoke about a few minutes ago, but there are several factors to consider when it comes to putting them into the game. For Shenmue III these are things such as: selection of the game engine, the size of the budget,the length of time for development and so on. And depending on these factors, certain changes may be needed to the content of the game. What platforms the game will be on is another consideration. Just for Shenmue III, I ended up with around 5 potential game structures. Stretch goals must also be fitted for the various budget levels, matching with the Kickstarter project. So actually there are several structure variations. And now, for this new project, I have chosen the structure that I believe fits best.
by Switch
Sun Jul 19, 2015 9:47 am
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Re: [Video] Yu Suzuki SM3 Interview on Niconico Live [Englis

Update: captions now added for the first 13 minutes to the video and transcript . This new part covers a brief history of Yu Suzuki's early games before Shenmue. Please check it out if you are interested.

Disclaimer: the section of the interview from 39:00~40:20 contains plot spoilers.
by Switch
Mon Jul 20, 2015 10:37 am
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Re: Translation requests here!

Low priority request, but i grabbed these screens from the Video Director interview:

I think its only storyboards for the KS Promo vid. Sorry about quality, depth of field was all over the place. Would be a nice bit of trivia for the Concept Art thread though! Thanks
Here's what I've been able to read from the images of the script.
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 zooms in on Shenhua.
4) Shenhua: "Ryo, can you jump across?"
by Switch
Thu Jul 16, 2015 5:23 am
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Re: Translation requests here!

Alright, something that might be more interesting?

From the interview with the scriptwriter .

The red bit is another piece of handwriting that was added after, in roughly the same place. The bottom half is blurred, but might be more readable if you watch the video in HD?

The labels on the diagram are readable but it's pretty tough to make out anything in the blurry text underneath. Anyway, here's the diagram:

Interesting that the word "promise" links Ryo and Shenhua together.

- added "maternal instinct". Thanks to Rakim
- added "life's"
- added numbers in the text below (thx NeoShredder!) and "Currently" --> changed to "be accomplished" after reviewing
by Switch
Tue Jul 21, 2015 9:22 pm
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Re: New characters in KS-trailer?

There's also some kanji behind him, any translations of that ?

It has the kanji 愛 which means love.

I've just realized what this kanji is part of! It's the advice Ryo received from his father:"Keep those you love close to you".
by Switch
Tue Jul 21, 2015 8:09 pm
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Re: Translation requests here!

Can anyone provide accurate translation to the parts in the last stream where they talk about:

- The talk about Suzuki's vision and approach to Shenmue 3 ( 2:05:58 )
- The talk about Chobou and other stretch goals ( 1:48:20 )

I've added English translation captions for Yu Suzuki's speech at these parts of the video:

7:17 Nocon Kid
1:49:16 Shenmue III new features (Chobou and other stretch goals )
2:05:38 Making a game with the fans (Suzuki's vision and approach to Shenmue 3 etc)

I think it helps make a few small details clearer compared to the original interpretation.
by Switch
Wed Jul 22, 2015 11:44 am
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Technique Scroll system

It seems that move scrolls - or "technique scrolls" as they have been called in Kickstarter - will be handled a bit differently in Shenmue III compared to the previous games, so I thought I'd pull together what we have heard from Yu Suzuki about them. (These are my translations of what Yu Suzuki said, not the AJ translations).

From the first Twitch stream:
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.

And from the Kickstarter countdown stream :
YS: There is also a Move Scroll {or Technique Scroll} system, which I've spoken before a bit in the past. You will be able to obtain new move scrolls fairly easily. They will be treated just as standard items in Shenmue. Once you have obtained a new move scroll, you will be able to make use of it immediately without needing to practice it, in situations such as QTEs, Battle QTEs or other scenes.

In the world of Shenmue there are several game elements such as mini-games, gambling, part-time jobs, quests and so on. You will be able to pick up move scrolls in various places, and depending on which move scrolls you collect, this will result in several of the game elements linking together. And so eventually this will enable you to defeat the "bosses". Well, my use of the term "boss" here may be misleading. As an example, a mentor kind of person instructs you to beat them in order for you to be promoted to an advanced level. So for this part you must advance by linking together all these game elements in order to defeat them.

I think that, compared to Shenmue II, it will make for an even more balanced game.
So in summary:

⋅  A move scroll is a normal Shenmue item that can be obtained at various points e.g. through mini-games, gambling, part-time jobs, quests.
⋅  Most move scrolls can be used immediately, no practice is required to learn the move.
⋅  Arcane scrolls are a special type which are managed in a Skill Tree. You must accumulate several other move scrolls in order to use them.
⋅  Moves you have obtained are automatically available during QTEs, Battle QTEs and other situations.
by Switch
Wed Jul 22, 2015 10:05 pm
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Re: Shenmue 1 would be the PERFECT size for Shenmue 3

Yeah, I'm somewhat suspicious of those "official" translations from things like the Twitter Q&A :)

There was some clarification directly from Yu on the recent Kickstarter countdown twitch stream though:
In the town of Choubu, I will be making an effort to implement a detailed open world that will be comparable to Dobuita.
So it sounds like Choubu at least will be on a scale comparable to Dobuita and packed with a lot of locations to visit and things to do as budget allows e.g. the stretch goals on Kickstarter such as additional mini games, betting games, kung fu mastery, part time jobs, game stalls.
by Switch
Thu Jul 23, 2015 5:11 am
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I agree it seems inline with the expectations Yu has been setting in other interviews until now. It wouldn't be realistic to keep to the same chapter-based plan as originally.

I take his comment on story planning as they no longer have the luxury, time or budget to do 1 chapter = 1 location and so S3 will cover multiple chapters (but not all).
Yes, in fact Yu's answer in the original Japanese pretty much says exactly that. My translation:
However with Shenmue III it won't do to complete just one chapter's worth in one region, so I have restructured the underlying story to fit the budget.
by Switch
Mon Aug 31, 2015 4:57 am
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Re: Shenmue Sign Translation - Help?

Here you go, hope this helps.

Surplus coins will be held at the counter.


Slot House

・No admittance after 6pm to persons under the age of 18.
・Medals will be held for you for up to 6 months.
・No admittance to intoxicated persons.
・Please be aware that patrons causing a nuisance to others may be asked to leave the premises.
・Do not leave your valuables alone. We are unable to take responsibility in the event of loss.
・Do not hit or kick the slot machines.
by Switch
Wed Jul 22, 2015 3:36 am
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Re: Are you looking forward to checking into Hotel Bird Danc

One of the mysteries on the second floor plan has been cleared up!

Kiyuu has identified the text in the call-out boxes at the top of the plan as reading "sample" (not "sandal" as I had guessed :) ), and points out that the symbols in the area at the top, such as stairs etc, are just samples for reference and are not part of the actual hotel floor plan.

I've updated the labels in the main image in my previous post accordingly. Thanks Kiyuu!
by Switch
Fri Jul 24, 2015 8:15 pm
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Re: Translation requests here!

NeoShredder wrote: New request:


"At the Ming Dynasty tombs. Left: Ms Zhang, my travel guide. Right: my guide for the Beijing area, Mr Bravo Zhang."

What book/ pamphlet is it from?
by Switch
Fri Jul 24, 2015 10:00 pm
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Re: Translation requests here!

I know this is not directly related to Shenmue III, but something to be considered in the long term, and indeed an all time favourite request for an English translation; Shenmue Premiere video: Therefore, if you are interested, that would be a legendary contribution to Shenmue's legacy. :)
Looks like a great candidate for translation. I guess its length (almost 2 hours) is why no one ever took up the challenge...

If there's still interest in the community for it, then I can certainly take a look.
by Switch
Sun Aug 02, 2015 6:24 am
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Re: Concept Art Thread (15th July: Baisha Geyser and LED Sta

More translating pl0x. O:)

Here are translations for the few words on the whiteboard doodles, which must have been brainstorming for the Kickstarter rewards.

1. 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.

2. A book that contains people's palm-reading fortunes.
by Switch
Tue Jul 21, 2015 9:01 pm
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Rapport system

Now that we've seen several comments from Yu Suzuki about the Rapport system he plans for Shenmue III, I've collected together the main ones so far here.

An early potential explanation was identified by Himuro in this post , picking up on a comment by Yu in a 2010 interview with Yu talked about his plans to emphasize on Ryo a "deeper dialog" with Shenhua in particular.
YS: This is not actually in the game, but as an example to give you an idea of what I mean by deeper dialogue, when Shenhua and Ryo are at home, Shenhua will ask Ryo if he would like to drink tea or coffee and the player will select one or the other. Or, Shenhua will ask Ryo a hypothetical question like: "There are four animals; a monkey, cat, dog and bird. You are crossing the river but you need to leave one behind. Which one will you leave behind?" And the player has to choose one. Shenhua will ask lots and lots of questions like these and the answers will get stored in the game and affect the outcome of the player's relationship with other characters. It's like a personality test.
After the Kickstarter was announced, more details were given on the first Twitch stream in June:
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.
Twitter Q&A:
Q44: Since relationships between characters will be more prominent, will we see something like a multiple choice conversation system? A: I am thinking about dialogue selection system
Kickstarter countdown Twitch stream ( link to video ):
YS: This is also something I may not have described much in the Kickstarter project, but I'm thinking about a new form of cooperative exploration. It's a system that allows you to explore together with Shenhua. Well, you could say that Shenhua helps you. The way in which she helps you is determined by the Rapport System, which I think everyone has heard about before. As you carry out conversations with Shenhua, several parameters such as favorability, reliability and so on are tracked as you play. And as a result of building up conversations with Shenhua, whether she ends up becoming cooperative towards you, or gets upset with you, is something I'm planning to weave into the game.
Niconico interview:
Another factor this time is that more time will be spent together with Shenhua --although there will also be many new characters making an appearance --and so we will be introducing several new features to help portray the relationship between the two. The features include things like a new conversational choice system that occurs from time to time as well as a parameter that tracks the closeness of their friendship and there is also Character Perspective.

⋅ There will be an emphasis on deeper dialog, especially with Shenhua
⋅ A new branching selection system for conversations will appear from time to time
⋅ Several parameters will be tracked to measure Shenhua's attitude to you based on your replies, including aspects such as reliability, favorability, trust etc
⋅ The level of rapport you have built up with Shenhua will effect how cooperative she is during your exploration together and so on.

I personally like the idea of a branching dialog system affecting the character interactions and potentially leading to multiple story variations. It should help add to replayability.
by Switch
Sun Jul 26, 2015 9:48 pm
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Re: [Video] Yu Suzuki SM3 Interview on Niconico Live [Englis

One small part of the video had been bothering me, specifically at the point when Yu reveals a small plot spoiler.

There's actually more than one way that a certain word could be translated. And after thinking about it, there's an alternative translation that seems appropriate. Details as follows.

*** Only show this if you want to reveal a plot spoiler!
Old: Shenhua's parents have been abducted by the Chiyoumen
New: Shenhua's father has been abducted by the Chiyoumen

The Japanese word Yu says ( 親) can mean any one of parent/parents/father/mother, but I think "father" is probably the right choice here, given that her step-father went missing from the quarry at the end of Shenmue II. It seems more likely to be referring to him than to her birth parents.
by Switch
Wed Jul 29, 2015 9:45 am
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Re: Devil's Third - Niconico Broadcast with Yu Suzuki

Maybe Switch can take a look at it and translate any Shenmue-related info, if there's any..
Unfortunately Yu only spoke a few times during the whole broadcast, and there was nothing mentioned about Shenmue.

At the start, Itagaki revealed that he had got Yu to cancel his plans for the evening in order to join the session. That may have been the reason for Yu's death stare... :|
by Switch
Tue Aug 04, 2015 7:07 pm
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Re: Devil's Third - Niconico Broadcast with Yu Suzuki

Hyo Razuki wrote: Yu didn't wear his striped shirt. Must have been his wife who forced him to take it off and wash it. :D

You mean this one? ;-)
Image ... 1336480768
by Switch
Wed Aug 05, 2015 9:13 am
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Re: Shenmue Premiere (Dreamcast Express Vol. 1) Subbed by Sw

This made my day! (It had make my year if it was the full premiere video (in good quality) and subbed!)
I believe some members of the Dojo are renewing efforts to see if a high-quality version of the full video can be obtained for subbing. Fingers crossed!

By the way - and I only made the connection after working on the subs - the female presenter at the 1998 Shenmue premiere, Reiko Chiba, is the person Yu and Hiroaki went to dinner with last week.
by Switch
Wed Aug 12, 2015 9:56 am
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Re: Shenmue articles from Japanese magazines

Notice the 'Magic Maze' system is mentioned in this one :D

I noticed that too. I wonder if the article says anything about what was planned for those scenes and if it turned out differently?
Nothing like that unfortunately, just a general description. Here's what the Magic Maze part says:

MAGIC MAZE – Walk through an expansive map with no disk access required!

As the story moves forward, the setting moves to Guilin, a place surrounded by nature. This is where there is a scene where you walk around in the forest, and although it’s not something that is easily noticed, in fact this is where AM2’s technology is subtly on display. It’s a vast area, as you will realize as you walk through it. Despite this, the game doesn’t go to read from the GD-ROM. Almost everything is being processed in-memory! AM2 is truly amazing!
[Caption 1] Ryo walks and walks through the forest in Guilin. I wonder if this is the right way?
[Caption 2] The forest gets complicated. Um... whereabouts is this? If you place a marker on your map, you may not get lost?
[Caption 3a] After passing through the forest, there’s a naturally-formed stone bridge.
[Caption 3b] If you move the wrong way and are about to fall, there is a QTE. This makes it possible to recover.
[Caption 4] At the bottom-left of the screen, a map displays your current location.
[Caption 5] Apart from the forest, there’s also a rocky area.
[Caption 6] Ryo keeps to the path with the Run action, even if the path twists somewhat.
by Switch
Sat Aug 29, 2015 8:22 pm
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Re: Shenmue – 2000 Developer Interview (Shmuplations)

Amir wrote: Man, that GSLA archive sounds amazing, who knows what other Shenmue treasures are buried there?!

Good news, there's also a 2001 interview about Shenmue II on the site. I've put it on my translation hit list. ;-)
by Switch
Thu Aug 13, 2015 7:13 pm
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Re: What will the "goal" of the game be?

shenmue852 wrote: one of the goals will be to REAL SPOILER
rescue Shenhua's parents from the Chi You Men

Just to note that Yu Suzuki's comment from the Niconico broadcast can be interpreted as referring more specifically to (SPOILER)
Shenhua's step-father (details in my earlier post here)
by Switch
Sat Aug 15, 2015 7:47 pm
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Re: Translation requests here!

Next I'll be translating this Shenmue II interview with Yu and some of the Japanese voice actors that was published in the September 2001 issue of Dorimaga magazine. Some of its content has been partially translated before but I think it will be of interest to translate the full interview.

About the Shenmue Premiere video, the short edition is now subbed , but I'll hold off on the full version in the hope that a high quality version can be obtained.

Update: the Dorimaga interview translation is posted here .
by Switch
Mon Aug 17, 2015 12:43 am
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Re: Do you believe in English dub massive improvement ?

The brother of Wang from Shenmue I must not be forgotten. True cringe-worthy goodness.
phpBB [video]

Edit: the video also features Ryo sounding as excited as I've ever heard when he finds out it's Wang's brother.
by Switch
Mon Aug 17, 2015 9:27 am
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Dorimaga 2001 Interview w/ Yu Suzuki & others

This is a translation of an article that was published in the September 2001 edition of the Dorimaga magazine. In it, Yu Suzuki and some of the Japanese voice actors talk about the completion of Shenmue II (released for the Dreamcast in Japan during the month this article was published) including some of the content that had to be cut from the release, and reflect back on their experiences over the previous 5 years they spent on the Shenmue project.

Part of this article (about Chapter 2) was translated by Kiyuu and discussed back in 2003. Also a short manga version of the Chapter 2 boat scenario is included as unlockable content on the Xbox version of Shenmue II.

Special Interview: Looking Back on Shenmue

Yu Suzuki – Executive Producer
Masaya Matsukaze – Japanese voice & motion actor for Ryo
Hazuki Ishigaki – Japanese voice & motion actress for Shenhua
Takumi Hagiwara – Japanese voice & motion actor for Ren

Compared to the previous episode, “Chapter One - Yokosuka”, the townsfolk of Shenmue II seem friendlier. The game gives the impression that it has been made to address some of the areas that had room for improvement in the first game, as if to acknowledge that some may find it off-putting if everyone were to give you the cold shoulder like in Shenmue I. Some people may already have completed Shenmue II in its entirety, but this interview covers a range of topics, including things that people who have finished the game will also want to hear about.

TV Commercials

Q: The first topic is about the commercials for Shenmue II that are currently being shown on TV.

Shenmue II Commercial #1: "Pork" Shenmue II Commercial #2: "Kung Fu" Shenmue II Commercial #3: "Beautiful Woman"
Suzuki: To film those TV commercials we went over to Shanghai, although in the near future we plan to show commercials that will feature actual screens from the game. I think showing some of the gameplay will help attract ordinary members of the public to the game.

Matsukaze: You know, Hagiwara-san and I actually appear in one of those commercials, but probably no one’s noticed. (laughs) And we're really acting, too!
Left & bottom-right: the set of the Hong Kong street at the Shanghai Film Park. The first photo was actually taken by Yu Suzuki. In the “Beautiful Woman” version of the commercial, look for Masaya Matsukaze (Ryo), and Takumi Hagiwara (Ren), showing their “real acting" (!) in the background.
Top-right: two giant pig carcasses containing a machine gun were chopped up on location. The set crew took the innards home for dinner.

Hagiwara: Right. People who have played Shenmue II are sure to recognize that we’re acting the bit where we lie in wait for Yuan. There are several different episode variations of the commercial, and they’re fun to watch. In the one with the old man, he was pretty shaky on his feet, so we had to film using a high-speed camera to make it look as though he was standing steadily. Gee, that old man was wobbling all over the place. (laughs)

Release of Shenmue II

Q: With Shenmue II going on sale soon, how do you all feel about that? You've been involved with Shenmue for a really long period of time.

Suzuki: We’ve been through a lot to get here, but for me I think the main thing is to have created something that will be loved by the people who play the game. Recently that’s all I’ve been thinking about. So I’m extremely keen to hear everyone’s comments. Right now it’s the only thing on my mind. (laughs)

Matsukaze: For me, I started my “countdown” about a month ago. It hasn’t felt that long, but I’ve been willing it to get here faster. (laughs)

Suzuki: I think the way the game has been put together is pretty unusual these days. For example, the shop interiors have been created down to the last inch. I don’t think any other game pays such ridiculous attention to detail. “Shenmue: The Movie”, which is playing right now, has that same flavor.

Q: It really has been a long project, hasn’t it. The voice actors have also been involved for ages; how long has it been?

Matsukaze: I’ve been playing the role of Ryo since the days of the Saturn. All up, I’ve been acting the part for just over 5 years.
Matsukaze has been playing as Ryo for over 5 years.

Q: Did those 5 years feel long?

Hagiwara: It felt long! For one thing, an enormous amount of time was spent on filming, but it also took a long time for it to be incorporated into the actual game. We captured an endless amount of motion footage, and even after the voice recordings had been done, the creation of the game still had to be done. It seemed like the release day would never be reached.

Suzuki: Well, the software implementation side was tough too! After writing the software there was a huge checklist to be run through – I wish I had it here to show everyone! (laughs) There was a line chart that showed the number of check items decreasing; there were more than 10,000 items to check and it seemed endless.

Q: By the way, how many times larger is Shenmue II compared to Shenmue I?

Suzuki: I don’t know exactly, but I'd say easily 3 or 4 times the size of Shenmue I. But a lot of scenes got left out, because right as we neared the end of development I added a whole lot of extra content. Even using the best compression techniques of the time, there was too much for it all to fit. Even so, at the end we increased the content by about an extra 30% of the total game, for the area of Guilin where Shenhua appears.

Matsukaze: I heard a lot about that near the end of the development. People were saying that too much had been made and it wouldn’t all fit in.

The Cutting Room Floor

Q: I’ve heard that there was going to be a “Chapter 2 – The Boat” between Shenmue I and Shenmue II, but Shenmue II starts with Ryo disembarking from the boat, doesn’t it. And the mother of a little girl makes reference to something about that. (laughs)

Suzuki: That’s right. “Chapter 2 – The Boat” from the original scenario was dropped completely.

Matsukaze: Oh yeah, the boat! Actually Chai shows up there. It turns out that Chai survives being cast into Yokosuka harbor, and he shows up on the boat where Ryo fights against this unseen enemy. That was how the scenario was going to run.

Q: Were the scenes filmed?

Matsukaze: Yes, they were. They were filmed in a really over-the-top style. (laughs) Several of the people involved in the story on the boat were to then appear again in a later scenario. They would say something along the lines of “Oh, it’s you from that time on the boat...”, connecting the plot together. That was the plan for the scenario.

Suzuki: The confrontation with Chai would have made a nice situation. We had completed the designs for the boat interior, with everything detailed - from the escape routes and deck heights to the length of the handrails. The plan was that it would develop into a large-scale action scene.

Matsukaze: We completed filming of all the motion capture too. It started with opening the cabin door, and events developed spectacularly from there.

Q: So as you were working on making Shenmue II, you reluctantly had to cut it?

Suzuki: Well, it didn’t trouble me too much. I was like “It’s impossible, it won’t fit – cut it!”. (laughs)

Q: I’m guessing that there were a lot of other scenes cut from the final version, and motion capture that wasn’t included? In particular, I think Ren’s movements are really well done and I was impressed; but I kind of wish we could see more of them.

Hagiwara: Well, if the motion capture was kept for all the detailed actions, it would make a huge amount. We shot a ton of fight scenes as well. Quite a lot has been cut.
On asking Yu Suzuki, “What happened to Niao Sun, who was shown at the premiere?”, he replies “I haven’t been able to use her yet, since she appears later in terms of the scenarios.” Masaya Matsukaze, who plays Ryo, hints at things to come: “When it’s time for Niao Sun to make an appearance in Shenmue, the story will have reached an amazing point!”

Q: Which was more difficult to carry out: dubbing voices to the actions, or the motion capture?

Suzuki: Firstly, these weren’t carried out by different people – the actor’s own acting is the source of the motion capture. Also, when an opponent is hit in the game he cries out; so by actually hitting him, his cry will be the cry of someone who has really been hit. (laughs) It may sound like tough work, but I think it was the perfect set-up.

There was a lot of trial and error at the beginning, but by the time we got to Shenmue II, at last we had found ways to manage things more efficiently.

Q: By the way, Shenmue is your first RPG-style game, isn’t it. Would it be correct to say that one of the main factors that sparked you to develop it is one that is commonly cited, namely the arrival of Final Fantasy VII during the era of the Saturn and PlayStation?

Suzuki: To be honest, part of it was because I found myself in a position of having “no place to go next”. The reason that the Sega Saturn lost popularity wasn't because it was beaten in terms of Sega vs Sony software titles, but because of a completely separate shift in power. And around that time I definitely had a kind of feeling of not having a place to go. As well as that, up until now I had been competing in the 3-minute world of arcade games, and I had been wanting to try my hand at creating something without such a time limit. So you can say that these two points are why I decided to move from arcades to try my hand on the home console.
“At first Shenhua wears plain clothing, but I planned to have her wear various different clothes later on” says Suzuki. “I’m looking forward to seeing how the story unfolds” comments Hazuki Ishigaki, who plays the role of Shenhua.

Looking Back

Q: And so, now that at last Shenmue II has been completed, how do you feel now looking back on it? After the Shenmue Premiere event (December 20, 1998), I guess that the plan was to release it within a year, but it has turned out to have taken right up until now... Is that somewhere near the mark?

Suzuki: It’s true that it didn’t turn out quite as I had initially planned. As more people became involved things grew more and more complicated, not just by a factor of a few times, but exponentially. And with everyone being a developer, if the person next to them developed something impressive, then they would feel compelled to outdo it. This resulted in a kind of chain reaction where everyone would strive to improve their output quality. But it’s hard for me to tell people not to increase quality! It was really challenging to find the right balance.

However there is one thing I think turned out well. In some ways Shenmue shares similarities with fighting-based games, but in the last half of the game in Guilin, where Shenhua appears, there’s no fighting at all. So I feel that I’ve been able to bring out the true Shenmue spirit there.

With Shenmue the graphics are all generated in real time, and ordinarily an attempt to make a game like this would be abandoned in frustration. (laughs) Game developers simply don’t go to the extremes we did. To tell you the truth, I don’t think we could go through it all again.

The Future

Q: So you won’t be making another Shenmue?

Suzuki: The first thing I want to do is take some vacation (laughs), and the staff too. I don’t think we could put ourselves through such tough times again as we did with Chapter One. However, even so, I’ve now learned a lot about how to make this type of game and so I’m confident that we’ll be able to make the next one more efficiently and with less of a burden. We’ll be able to make a similar kind of game, and it’s something I want to do. But... I feel like taking a bit of a break first. (laughs)

Q: Hypothetically speaking, if there was the possibility again in the future, what would be your choice of hardware? Ah, before asking that - is there any potential for a port?

Suzuki: Porting Shenmue I and II across to other hardware wouldn’t be impossible, but due to the sheer size it would materially be a tough job to take on. The easiest and most likely option would be the PC, in a year or two. That’s because the PC has, in a sense, the ability to handle anything and has few constraints.

Q: What thoughts do you actors have about that?

Hagiwara: I’m already raring to go! (laughs) Bring it on!
We really hope to see more acting from Takumi Hagiwara, who plays Ren. “Just say the word and I definitely will!” he says.

Q: I would have liked to have seen Ren take part in more scenes, to be honest!

Hagiwara: I know, right? There are still heaps of interesting stories connected to the scenarios made so far. Things like “Why is Ren present?” and “Why did Shenhua make an appearance?” It all gets explained later on.

Ishigaki: My wish for a port is that it starts properly from the very first disk of the series (laughs).

Matsukaze: Yeah, I agree.

Q: Yu-san, going back to the point you mentioned about the feeling you had of “nowhere to go”, have you satisfied this to some extent for the future?

Suzuki: In a way... not completely though. Conversely, now things have turned into a kind of hardware war, so it has become kind of pointless, right? Life is full of variety, for better or worse. But for me, the creation process is enjoyable, and therefore I want to create a product that people will enjoy. I think that’s been the lesson I’ve learned.

Matsukaze: A lot of female characters appear in Shenmue II, but actually people like Fangmei have some really detailed parameters associated with them such as her level of intimacy. And to reflect these parameters, her spoken lines were all recorded with various tones of voice! I hope everyone can appreciate the amazing attention to detail that fills every corner of the game.

Suzuki: For me, I don’t consider that “Shenmue” came to an end with the demise of the Dreamcast. I have an emotional attachment to the game. And so, I hope to meet up with you all again one day.

Matsukaze: Let’s meet next time for “Shenmue Returns”. (laughs)

Hagiwara: Absolutely. I hope we can.
Matsukaze, Ishigaki, Suzuki and Hagiwara. For now, the long long project that was Shenmue has come to an end. Will we meet everyone again in the next episode? Or perhaps in a different project... if one is in the works? We’ll be watching for the next release from Yu Suzuki!
by Switch
Tue Aug 18, 2015 7:48 pm
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Re: Dorimaga 2001 Interview w/ Yu Suzuki & others

Those commercials got ZERO to do with Shenmue. Could be some stupid Japanese chewing gum ad like this one, just without actually being cool.
Yeah these things get through some how... Someone with too much lateral thinking says we should go with this angle... yada yada.. Why would Yu Suzuki spend so much time and effort as well as SEGA's money to get his game marketed like that when Shenmue was so much about realism not super cheesiness. Boggles the mind.
I suspect Yu did have second thoughts about the commercials (or maybe had some negative comments about them), from the way he pointed out that commercials showing actual game footage were on their way.

By the way, the voiceover they use says "You never know what's going to happen - Shenmue II".

But I appreciate Masaya and Takumi's sense of humor when they describe how convincing their acting was in the commercial, likening it to an ambush scene in Shenmue II -- when in fact they are barely distinguishable, and appear for a split second. :)
by Switch
Wed Aug 19, 2015 9:46 am
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Re: Translation requests here!

From another thread:
Phong wrote:I have some more scans of articles from Japanese magazines around that time, if any translators are interested. I posted them in large format 600 DPI in this thread:
by Switch
Sun Aug 23, 2015 11:10 pm
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Re: Translation requests here!

Curious as to what these say from the Wan Chai martial arts school, are they the same sayings as in the Hazuki Dojo? Does any of the "clear as a polished mirror" quotation?

At least a couple of them are seen elsewhere:
1. 泰然自若 - "Always maintain composure and presence of mind". This is the same as the one in Ryo's father's room.
2. 道可道非常道 - "The Way that can be told of is not an unvarying way" (the first line of the Tao Te Ching). I haven't seen it anywhere else in the game.
2015/9/5 update: Kiyuu noted it is also found in the Hazuki Dojo. The game subtitles translate it as "Principles cannot be expressed only by words".
2015/11/5 update: I also found this scroll displayed in one of the shops on Dragon Street, along with a scroll that has a variation with a similar meaning: 名可名也 非恒名也.

3. 天龍地友 - "Heaven, Dragon, Earth, Comrades". Seen on the paper about the Chawan Sign.

Since I was digging around anyway, a couple of others from the Hazuki Dojo are:
不撓不屈 - "Be ever unyielding" (Ryo's father's room)
and of course...
明鏡止水 - "Keep your mind as clean as a polished mirror" (Fuku-san's room)
by Switch
Wed Aug 26, 2015 3:09 am
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Re: Translation requests here!

Translation of the Twitch interview is done! I've posted it to the existing Twitch interview thread here:

by Switch
Sat Jun 27, 2015 4:34 am
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Re: Translation requests here!

Thank you so much for all of your effort, Switch. Your domain in the language is... awesome.
You're welcome!

By the way, I've recently come across this stack of old (Japanese) Dreamcast Magazine scans online at , and looking through them there are a heap of Shenmue-related interviews and articles going back to the time of Project Berkley.

I'm planning to work through the translations of these articles as time allows. They may give some insight into how Shenmue I & II were developed and put together. At least, it will give us something to read while we wait for Shenmue III.
by Switch
Thu Aug 27, 2015 6:51 am
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Re: Dorimaga 2001 Interview w/ Yu Suzuki & others

This is great!

I have some more scans of articles from Japanese magazines around that time, if any translators are interested. I posted them in large format 600 DPI in this thread:
Thanks! I've also posted your message to the Translation requests thread .
by Switch
Sun Aug 23, 2015 11:11 pm
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Re: Translation requests here!

2. 道可道非常道 - "The Way that can be told of is not an unvarying way" (the first line of the Tao Te Ching). I haven't seen it anywhere else in the game.
I should have noticed earlier, but that's one of the scrolls hung in Hazuki Dojo.
So, those three hanging scrolls are all duplicates of the ones in Shenmue, after all.
Oh, I had completely missed that! Thanks for clearing that up. (The right-hand scroll in the Dojo that hides the sword slot). It seems fitting that this also links back to Iwao-san. Also I noticed there is a translation for this scroll in the game subtitles, which is "Principles cannot be expressed only by words".
by Switch
Sat Sep 05, 2015 7:04 am
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Re: Translation requests here!

Giorgio wrote:New interview of Yu Suzuki on Famitsu:

Happy to see another interview out!

It looks like there hasn't been any full translation made yet, so I'll make a start on it (may take a couple of days).

Update: translation posted here.
by Switch
Wed Sep 09, 2015 4:51 pm
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Re: Making of Shenmue

Very nice find. I've put it at the top of my translation list, after I'm done with the Famitsu article translation.

(In the meantime, playing a bit of Shenmue with Japanese voices may help tune your ear to pick up some of the video narration, like the story Yu Suzuki mentioned on the Niconico video... ;-) )

I'll update on this thread.
by Switch
Fri Sep 11, 2015 12:26 am
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Re: New Famitsu Interview with Yu (Sept 8th)

Ok, here is a translation for Part 1 of the Famitsu article. I hope this will minimize the pain of having to read the auto-translation from Google.

The second part will follow as soon as it is completed, although I know it's probably where the most interesting snippets of information may lie!

What will Shenmue III be like? A post-Kickstarter interview with Yu Suzuki (Part 1/2)

Shenmue 3 has drawn a lot of attention, after breaking several records on the crowd-funding site Kickstarter. We asked Yu Suzuki for his thoughts following the completion of Kickstarter, including the additional features that were reached through stretch goals.

How does Yu envision Shenmue 3?

The development of Shenmue 3 via crowd funding was announced at the Sony Computer Entertainment press conference, held the day before the opening of E3 2015. Through the crowd-funding campaign that was launched immediately on Kickstarter following the announcement, the funding milestone of $1,000,000 was achieved in record time; also a new record was set for the highest-funding for a Video Game on the platform, and total of approximately 780m yen of funding was gathered, making it the 6th most-funded project in Kickstarter history. carried out an interview with Yu Suzuki, director of the game that has been receiving all the attention: Shenmue 3. As this is the first interview after the end of the crowd funding, we also wanted to ask him about additional features achieved by the stretch goals. Check it out!

Looking back on a tumultuous month after the end of the Kickstarter project

Q: The Kickstarter campaign for Shenmue 3 recently finished as the most-funded Video Game on the platform. Please tell us honestly how you are feeling now.

Yu Suzuki (YS): Honestly speaking, it's "Here we go!"

Q: So you're feeling keen to get underway, rather than sitting back after a successful campaign?

YS: Yes, what I'd really like would be to make the development period longer. So it's like, "Hurry up, let's get started!"

Q: Will you move forward with development without any change to the planned release target date of the end of 2017?

YS: Yes. The budget from Kickstarter has now been confirmed, so I'm at the stage of seeing how far I can stretch the width and scale of the project within that budget.

Q: Looking back on the period from the Shenmue 3 announcement at E3 until now, what has been the most memorable thing for you?

YS: Most memorable for me while I was away at the E3 conference has to be the moment of the announcement. Right before it, while I was waiting backstage, the remake of Final Fantasy VII was announced, and I could hear the tremendous commotion. I was worrying and thinking "I hope Shenemue's going to be ok, 14 years on (from the previous game)" but when the video was shown I heard a huge cheer...

Q: The cheering was really loud, wasn't it. People were getting to their feet in joy.

YS: Of the whole conference, that was the moment when the audience's reaction most sounded like screaming.

Q: Is it one you will always remember?

YS: A lot has happened since then, but that was the moment that touched me the most. Later on I watched videos of people's reactions to the Shenmue 3 announcement. There were people whose voices cracked with excitement, and others who didn't stop crying. I was really moved when I saw everyone's reactions.

Q: You have mentioned in previously that you had been considering Kickstarter for a long time. What things did you find most difficult or surprising when you actually ran the campaign?

YS: There was a lot to learn. I had heard that with Kickstarter, starting at a fast pace is important, so although I really wanted to announce something beforehand, I wasn't able to because it was to be announced at the Sony conference. So I thought about whether there was anything at all I could do, and on the morning of the conference I put up a photo of a forklift on Twitter… which got me scolded by someone from Sony (laughs).

Q: Fans will guess what's going on simply from seeing a forklift, you know! (laughs)

YS: But... it's just a forklift!

Q: I think it shows the extent to which forklifts have remained in everyone's hearts.

YS: That's true. In a survey of Shenmue fans, the third most popular thing people wanted to know was whether forklifts would make an appearance in Shenmue 3 (laughs).

Q: (laughs) By the way, approximately 780m yen was raised through the Kickstarter campaign; do you have plans for other ways to accept funding?

YS: I'm planning on accepting funding via PayPal. It is still being coordinated so I can't give details at the moment, but progress is being made on getting it ready.

Q: Depending on the amount of further funding, is there a possibility that stretch goals not reached during the Kickstarter campaign will be included?

YS: I would like to add them if possible. Kickstarter is a non-Japanese site and so I think it may have been hard for Japanese people to use. Even for the mailing address entry, people may have worried that making a slight mistake might result in their rewards not being delivered. So when accepting funding through PayPal, I'd like to ensure it supports Japanese language.

Q: That makes sense. With Japanese support, fans in Japan will feel relieved, won't they. Development work on Shenmue 3 will start in earnest from here, so are there any roles you are particularly looking for to help the development move forward?

YS: I would especially welcome any planners or programmers who would like to work together with us. Development will be carried out with Unreal Engine, so I'd be happy if they have experience in Unreal Engine development as well as in development for the home game market.

Appearance of new characters - and the return of some from the past, such as Nozomi

Q: Next I'd like to ask you in more detail about what kind of game Shenmue 3 will be. Firstly, there wasn't a stretch goal for "Japanese language support" in the stretch goals revealed on the Kickstarter site. But since Masaya Matsukaze has been announced as the voice actor for the lead character of Ryo Hazuki, there will be Japanese-language support, won't there?

YS: That's right. I won't be able to express subtle nuances unless I make it in Japanese first. After the Japanese version we'll make the English version, and then support for other languages will follow.

Q: So although the video for the Kickstarter project had the main character speaking in English, development of the game will be carried out with Japanese voices?

YS: Yes.

Q: I'm sure the fans are wondering who will be cast as voice actors for the Japanese version..?

YS: I haven't decided the cast of voice actors yet. Some of those who were cast for the previous games are no longer active in voice acting, so...

Q: But if you tell them "I'm making Shenmue 3!", maybe they'll come out of retirement for you!

YS: If that happened, I would be really happy. I'd love to have them return.

Q: I hope we can get everyone from the cast to read this interview. So, at the moment are you in the middle of writing the scenarios?

YS: Yes, I'm working on them now, and the main scenario is largely done. I'm discussing with Yoshimoto-san the parts I'd like to expand a bit more [Editor's note: scriptwriter Masahiro Yoshimoto, who is in charge of the scripts for the series].

Q: Have you already started making maps and character models?

YS: No, not yet. They will be done after we've finished adjusting things like the scenario structure and the order in which each of the maps will be traveled to.

Q: Shenmue 3 will feature the three villages of Bailu, Choubu and Baisha, with gameplay differing in each of the villages - could you tell us about the characteristics of each of the villages?

YS: The village of Bailu, which you visit first, is where Ryo ended up at the end of Shenmue 2. You will be exploring the mountain village and the inner depths of the mountains of Guilin. Choubu is more developed than Bailu village, more like a town. The size of the town will be set accordingly for the funding that was achieved through Kickstarter. It looks like I will be able to make its scale slightly larger than I had originally planned. In Choubu you can buy things and carry out quests. You will be able to play minigames, and there will be food stalls, souvenir shops, lodges, temples and other buildings there.

Q: So Bailu village will feature in the story as somewhere to enjoy the scenery, while Choubu will be where you can enjoy open-world gameplay like in the previous game?

YS: Yes, although the word "open-world" may lead to misunderstanding as there are now many great open world games around…. Choubu is a place with "Shenmue-like" gameplay - what I called FREE for the earlier Shenmue games. I consider Bailu village to be a place where you can enjoy spending time with Shenhua. And for Baisha, I'm planning to make it a place where you can play in completely different way from the earlier Shenmue games. It's the place I want to focus on most.

Q: Could you give a little more detail about Baisha?

YS: It has several enemy hideouts, and you can enjoy the situation of infiltrating one; protecting your friends from external attack as you battle with enemies to take it over. You will not simply be fighting, but will make full use of war tactics that resemble famous tactics from China's Three Kingdoms period, such as the Water Attack or the Fire Attack, as you fight. This may sound very difficult, but I plan to make it straight-forward when you try playing, so please don't worry about that.

Q: In a previous interview, you mentioned being able to change your player character during these operations, didn't you?

YS: That would be the stretch goal that was successfully reached during the Kickstarter, called the Character Perspective system. I'd like to allow you to be able to play not just as Ryo, but also as others like Shenhua and Ren, and clearly portray the characteristics of each of the characters. For example… Shenhua, a girl, wouldn't do something like suddenly hit someone else.

Q: She doesn't seem like the type to do that, does she.

YS: And so, if you have selected Shenhua, you won't have the option to hit. However, if it is Ren, he may well suddenly strike out (laughs). In this way, depending on the character the things you can do differ, and depending on your choice the outcome will change. I'd also like to portray the differences between men and women.

Q: Between men and women?

YS: In the places where Character Perspective occurs, there are events where you advance as a pair. At that time, if you are controlling Ren then he'll be like "Hey, I'm so cool" and try to put on an act, whereas if you control Shenhua she'll look at his posing and think "What an idiot…" - that kind of thing (laughs).

It's something that happens in real life too, right? It is said that if you talk to two people that have had an argument, they will give you completely different stories about it, although they have experienced the same thing. I'd like to express the difference in values between men and women, as well as the kind of everyday life situations that everyone can relate to. I don't think many games have delved into this kind of thing deeply, so I think it will be an attractive new aspect of Shenmue which sets it apart from other games, as well as from the previous chapters.

Q: It makes me want to try controlling various different characters. On that point, I'd like to ask about the characters. Could you tell us about Ren, once again?

YS: Ren is a character who appeared in Shenmue 2, and is the leader of a Hong Kong street gang. He's cunning, intelligent, and skillful at fighting. At first he travels with Ryo from impure motives - "I smell money involved!", but gradually starts to look up to Ryo. I haven't yet mentioned about how Ren makes this transition, but I hope you will enjoy it. Shenmue 3 contains some fun scenes with Ren.

Q: It sounds like Ren will be quite heavily involved in Shenmue 3's story...?

YS: Who knows? (laughs)

Q: We're looking forward to hearing more about that (laughs). Next, could you tell us about Niao Sun, a woman who will make her appearance in Shenmue 3?

YS: She is one of the four Chiyoumen leaders and rules over the South. Ruling over the East is the Blue Dragon ("Sōryū"), Lan Di. Niao Sun is the Flame Empress ("Entei") who rules over the South, and is a beautiful but cruel character. I'm really excited as I'm able to at last portray Niao Sun, in Shenmue 3. [Editor's note: Niao Sun was presented to the public prior to the release of the first chapter of Shenmue, and was introduced in the character introduction video but she did not appear in Shenmue or Shenmue II.]

Q: And in Shenmue 3, Shenhua will finally become fully involved in the story, won't she.

YS: I took a vote on the most popular characters from Shenmue up until now and, most likely because she didn't appear much, Shenhua ranked low. Even after the announcement of the Kickstarter campaign, all I heard was "Please include Nozomi" (laughs). So I've made it possible to make a phone call to Nozomi.

Q: In this next game, it has been announced that there will be parameters that represent your relationship with Shenhua. I believe that in Shenmue 2 Fang Mei also had an affinity parameter - will it be something similar but more in-depth than that? [Editor's note: depending on how favorable her impression of Ryo was, Fang Mei would change how she called him, and special events would take place].

YS: Well, I hadn't really been thinking of Fang Mei.

Q: Are you able to give more details about the parameters for Shenhua at this point?

YS: I haven't finalised them yet, but I'm thinking of setting up around 3 parameters like level of trust, level of intimacy, friendliness toward you… something like these would be the top contenders. With a high level of friendliness, cooperation with Shenhua will go smoothly, that sort of thing. With the Character Perspective which will feature in the latter half of the game, if you choose to play as Shenhua, her true feelings will be revealed, and you may be in for a shock - "So that's what she thinks of me…!" That's something I'd like to try to do. (laughs)

Q: You might find she actually doesn't think much of you! (laughs)

YS: I think male players make up the majority, so I think it will be fun to introduce an element where they will think "Ouch!".

Q: Will the parameters be set up only for Shenhua? Do you plan to set up parameters for any other characters, such as Nozomi?

YS: It would be more enjoyable if there were parameters for other characters too, wouldn't it. For example if you get along too well with Shenhua, Nozomi may get jealous and cut your phone call short with a cool "Oh. Really….". I haven't decided the details yet, but I'll consider it.

End of Part 1
by Switch
Fri Sep 11, 2015 8:58 am
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Re: Yu Suzuki officially announces Paypal support for Shenmu

Relevant part from the recent Famitsu interview . Seemingly still alive.

Q: Do you have plans for other ways to accept funding?

YS: I'm planning on accepting funding via PayPal. It is still being coordinated so I can't give details at the moment, but progress is being made on getting it ready.

Q: Depending on the amount of further funding, is there a possibility that stretch goals not reached during the Kickstarter campaign will be included?

YS: I would like to add them if possible. Kickstarter is a non-Japanese site and so I think it may have been hard for Japanese people to use. Even for the mailing address entry, people may have worried that making a slight mistake might result in their rewards not being delivered. So when accepting funding through PayPal, I'd like to ensure it supports Japanese language.

Q: That makes sense. With Japanese support, fans in Japan will feel relieved, won't they.
by Switch
Fri Sep 11, 2015 11:05 pm
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Re: New Famitsu Interview with Yu (Sept 8th)

Here is a translation of the second part of the article, which turned out to be shorter than Part 1 .

(Note: I have used the term "move scroll" in this article. This is the same thing as "technique scroll" from the English Kickstarter page).

What will Shenmue III be like? A post-Kickstarter interview with Yu Suzuki (Part 2/2)

Further evolution: not just for battles and QTEs, but also part-time jobs

Q: I'd like to ask in detail about battles. The "move scrolls" system (items which can be obtained by various means during the game. Once obtained, you are able to use new moves) has already been announced; will there be any other new elements?

YS: Regarding what form battles should take, I'm planning to design their structure while being mindful of the budget, among other things. The graphics engine and power of expression are completely different now compared to those of the past, so I'd like to create battles that are fitting for the current era. For the battles in Shenmue 1 and 2, I used the Virtua Fighter 2 engine. Since I made Virtua Fighter, I was able to make use of that knowledge, you see. Virtua Fighter was a one-on-one fighting game, with timing being important, so it wasn't immediately suitable for use for Shenmue-style battles. I had to make a lot of modifications. However, this time I will be creating battles to suit Shenmue 3 right from the beginning. I'm aiming for straightforward but exhilarating battles in which the action is the main highlight, not battles which are made up of extremely detailed physics.

Q: Depending on the choices you make with Character Perspective, will you be able to control Ren in battle?

YS: That hasn't been decided, since it would take a lot of time to implement battles for multiple characters. But I also think that fighting a battle as Ren sounds interesting, so I can see where you're coming from. Ren's character especially is quite distinctive, so I have a feeling it would make for interesting battles.

Q: In Shenmue 2, Shenhua made dandelion seeds float into the air by holding up her hands. It appears that she has some mysterious powers. Does she ever use them for fighting?

YS: I'm thinking of showing a glimpse of that.

Q: Next, please tell us about QTEs. I think you could say that they are one of the things that define Shenmue, and are something that fans are anticipating. Will QTEs also have evolved in some way?

YS: You could think of it that way. Since Shenmue is where the QTE originated, I'm thinking “I must take them to the next level!". Having said that, the concept of being able to be enjoyed by anyone will remain unchanged. QTEs in Shenmue are designed so that if the player is unsuccessful, they will gradually become easier. I will continue to keep that user-friendly approach.

Q: After hearing your description, I hope some battle scenes can be revealed to the public as soon as possible.

YS: I also want to test the battles as early as possible. One of the things I'm looking forward to is how to best leverage the strengths of Unreal Engine for battles.

Now planning is in progress, which is of course is enjoyable, but since there are no visible results yet I am eager for hands-on interaction. I want to try actually walking and adjusting how the game feels based on my own sense when playing - for example, “Maybe I should make it a little bigger". Because even if the design specifies “2km x 2km", you don't know if that's truly an appropriate distance until you try playing.

Q: I think players would also like to know more about part-time jobs and minigames. Are the designs for these progressing?

YS: I'm thinking of having fishing as a part-time job. In the game, as mentioned a little earlier, move scrolls are an important item. Once you obtain a move scroll, that move becomes usable in battle. There are various ways to obtain move scrolls, but for those sold in weapons shops, naturally you won't be able to purchase them unless you have money. How you save money is up to each player, but you can earn money steadily through a part-time job or increase it instantly by gambling. However, you also need money in order to gamble, so I'm thinking of including fishing as a system for earning that initial capital. Both Bailu village and Choubu are in the country, so you'll be able to sell the fish you caught. In Shenmue 3, like I just talked about, various elements tie in together. Rather than buying a move scroll with the money you've earned, you may choose to buy a good fishing rod instead. Buying a good fishing rod will increase your chances of catching fish, making your fishing more effective.

Q: So what you do with the money you get is up to the player, isn't it. By the way, has a decision been made on whether forklifts will be included? (laughs)

YS: It's amazing how popular forklifts seem to be, isn't it. (laughs) That's still being considered.

Release far off, however monthly updates are planned until then

Q: Previously you mentioned being interested in online or downloadable content. Is there any plan to support these?

YS: I really want to be able to, but I have to be strict about the order of priority as to which elements should be included. I am concentrating firstly on offline, making a game that plays well from start to finish.

Q: As you have an interest in virtual reality (VR), did you try out a VR device at E3 or elsewhere?

YS: Yes, I did. That device is really interesting. In the past I have carried out experiments with VR at SEGA, and also have been involved in a VR project, so I have strong feelings toward VR. It made me think “Today's technology has come this far!", with all sorts of new possibilities being born. I'm deeply impressed. However Shenmue is a game that you play for a relatively long time, so I don't know whether VR is suitable. But it is a fascinating device.

Q: Approximately when will further information about Shenmue 3 be made public?

YS: I plan to put out information each month, a little at a time. Something like a “brief Shenmue update". This project has been possible only through everyone's support, so I want to report its progress. And at large events, I'd like to announce any news that's likely to be talked about.

Q: You've also mentioned that you want to incorporate opinions from the players, haven't you.

YS: I will be putting a system in place that allows backers to voice comments.

Q: This may be too soon to ask about, but when do you think a playable demo will become available?

YS: It's too early to talk about that (laughs). I think it will be much later on before we can deliver a playable demo. Likely after the start of 2017.

Q: I'm looking forward to the updates. And finally, could you give a message to the readers looking forward to Shenmue 3?

YS: My sincere thanks for your ongoing support for Shenmue up until now. It is thanks to all of you that we were able to achieve several records on Kickstarter. Since the site for the Kickstarter campaign was in English, I think it may have been difficult for some of you to participate, and so I am also planning to support PayPal. There are just over 2 years to go until the release of Shenmue 3. Thank you for your continued support.

End of article
by Switch
Sat Sep 12, 2015 6:21 pm
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Re: Translation requests here!

Does this has anything to do with Shenmue ?

That is from the tgs sega merch:

They'll also have Shenmue T-shirts and pins !
This one isn't related, it's SEGA's founding principle, which is apparently "Creation is our life".
by Switch
Sun Sep 13, 2015 12:51 am
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Re: Translation requests here!

A translation of this comment of Yu Suzuki at Shenmue 500K Facebook group?

"Please do not put up information about PayPal.
Since it's ahead of the formal announcement!
Please wait until after the official announcement by YSNET.
I forgot to specify the timing for making the information public.
Thank you for your cooperation."
by Switch
Tue Sep 15, 2015 11:19 pm
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