Shenmue Mythology - My theories - China Joy 2006 CG analysis

(Chapter 7 and beyond)

Shenmue Mythology - My theories - China Joy 2006 CG analysis

Postby johnvivant » Sun Dec 22, 2013 7:49 am

edit - added more stuff....

Ok might as well dive right into this. There is a a lot of text here sorry. I am probably going to add to it later as well.

before going into the analysis some people have questioned whether the china joy video, or any of the shenmue online videos have any relevance to the future of the main series. in my opinion i think that most the cg, especially the bit with ryo rushing up to the roof of that building to rescue Joy from lan di is a fictional scenario designed to promote the idea of a 'Shenmue MMO'. but the bit with the dragon, pheonix, lan di and shenhua is definitly canonical with the main series. these events were even hinted at in the Project berkely cg (lan di hand movements, dragon flying through the sky, lightning ect.)

China joy video alalysis:

phpBB [video]


it maybe useful to start with a brief analysis of the 'shenmue legend'.
This is central mythological narrative of Shenmue saga (well maybe at least for shenmue 1 to 3 ) I call it shenmue legend, but perhaps there is a better name for it if someone wants to suggest it.


The shenmue legend
This is the actual chinese text that appears on the scroll than pans across the screen in the china joy cg - time stamp - 7:45 and was translated by user odaryo.
Thread here, I bumped it just recently. There is some really amazing info in here that should be better known within the community. I didn’t know about until a few weeks ago.
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=31394&start=15


The vein of the Dragon may cause a giant chaos.
(now by vein what I think it means is some kind of cave or sanctuary where the dragon dwells.)
edit- just did some research on the term 'dragon vein' - apparently in Chinese painting the term 'dragon vein' is used to describe the ridge of a mountain) so maybe the cave is in a mountain? really not sure what is meant here by vein of dragon. - although now i think of it didn't shenhua says there were dark/black mountains where people never came back..maybe this is mountain that contains the sanctuary where the dragon dwells...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3yX8AXNZyqs - video detailing term 'dragon vein'

In the nature, the vein of the Dragon has been neutralized by a pair of mirrors: Dragon and Phoenix.

(some kind of barrier which maybe magical that seals the dragon within the sanctuary)

The Dragon mirror and the Phoenix mirror were sealed in the Dragon's cave.

(now this is interesting because obviously at some point they were removed and ended up in Iwaos possession – maybe whatever the events that occurred 20 years ago when Iwao and Zhu and Zhao were in china will explain this– this part of the story is still a huge mystery)

Hundreds of years ago(in the scroll it is "months", don't know if it is an error), an earthquake occurred, as if a signal for the dying dynasty.

(I also have ideas about the dynasties, but still working on them)

In order to obtain the Dragon's power, a demon entered the cave and stole the dragon's mirror.

(who is the demon? does it mean literal a supernatural demon, or maybe a very bad natured human being – have theories for this too )

The God Dragon awakes, bringing the earth and the nature (natural?) disasters.

(I assume that this is the dragon lan di takes control of – but its still not clear whether the dragon is separate to Chiyou. I personally think they are separate but its not clear. – got theories for this too)

Great earthquakes and giant floods stand for the ending of the dynasty.

This is giving a description of the primordial event when the dragon was disturbed – and its would seem that this event may have been repeating itself since time immemorial) - shenmue 3 is when its most likely to happen again - this event may have some kind of moral dimension as to why it keeps occuring - but I’ll get into this later)

The emperor asks three ancient masters for help to control the power of Phoenix.

(who were these ancient masters? If you look at the video time stamp 7:50 – I think the scrolls actually illustrates them. There are 2 old guys with beards and 1 bald guy all wearing Chinese clothing of old - huge sleeves etc. its difficult to make out the background, maybe they are sitting on a mountain with other mountains in the background? guilin maybe? better quality video would be useful. Could these be the ancestors of shenhua and Ryo? I assume that with each iteration of the 'calming of the dragon' event new masters emerge to undertake the task)

The legendary Phoenix comes down from the heaven and fights back the Dragon's attack.

(Time stamp 8:08 in video as seen in scrolls)

The Dragon's rage has been calmed down. The Dragon and The Phoenix go back to where they were from.

(Maybe this is time stamp - 12:03. beam of light being sucked back up into the clouds (dragon calmed) followed by another light absorbing into the phoenix pendant - phoenix returns)

The Dragon's mirror and the Phoenix's mirror have been sealed again. The peace is back.

(yes until the next disturbance of the dragon – the latest of which is due to occur in shenmue 3. )



--------------------

Magical objects/artefacts other than the mirrors.
shenhua seems to be controlling/ summoning the phoenix by use of a magical phoenix pendant/necklace go to - time stamp 9.49 - you can seen that its shaped like a phoenix, and she is clasping it when phoenix emerges.
Close up of pendant - time stamp 9:50.

a lot of emphasis is placed on this necklace since its emitting magical energy several times, and at the end it seems to be implied that either the dragon and/or the phoenix are absorbed back into the pendant - time stamp – 12:10

so we can add this to the list of known magical objects within shenmue

-sword of seven stars (must have greater purpose than just lighting up those huge mirrors)
-phoenix and dragon mirrors (from the shenmue legend we know that the purpose of the mirrors was to seal the dragon away prevent further destruction. Zhu also says the mirrors are a key to unlock the treasures of the qing dynasty, and master chen says that the mirrors somehow allow the resurrection of chi you. i've read people who say that all these uses of the mirrors means that we are recieving wrong or contradictory information from these sources, but i don't see why the mirrors cant do all these things.
-pheonix pendant (summoning and or controlling the phoenix)

- because the dragon lives in a 'vein' he might not need summoning.... hence there is no need for a dragon summoning pendant.
The destruction of a city

I’m still confused about what is actually happening here in the destruction of the city.

The first question is - what’s the city that is being destroyed? It looks like its in guilin, the mountains surrounding it are the same. Shenhua seems to be taken by surprise by this whole episode, - initially she is just playing with some butterflies. (this lends credence to my theory that what follows is a memory)

- also interesting to consider that shenhua's presence in guilin during these events could mean that Ryo leaves shenhua in guilin while he goes off to other parts of china to continue his quest...

So what is actually happening.
First of all clouds gather. Then a huge blanket washes over the landscape turning it brown rather than the lush green it was before. (is this just the destruction caused by the water?)

Shenmue legend says:
‘Great earthquakes and giant floods stand for the ending of the dynasty.’

So is this a blanket water washing over the landscape? It actually looks like its falling from the sky.

My theory:
This is not actually the present time of shenmue saga (1980’s), we are actually viewing the historical, mythological destruction of the city from the original awakening of the dragon (either 1600’s or pre 5000bc) - (this city does not look modern)
.
The blanket washing over the landscape is both a flood of water from the heavens, and also a time distortion transforming the landscape back to how it was then. (shenmue often uses brown colour to indicate age - eg flashbacks, and old scrolls)

When the time distortion reaches shenhua, she too is transformed into her ancestor – the historic person who also used the phoenix to calm the dragon.

this whole episode may be a memory of shenhua, or some kind of ability where shenhua can time travel to earlier periods by use her ancestors memories.

But what about lan di actually being there controlling the dragon with his hand movements?

It doesn’t actually look like lan di is there. All the background of his shots are blacked out. He is maybe in a completely different location controlling the dragon. maybe he is in present time 1980’s but has found a way of controlling the historic dragon (of old times)
- so he is controlling the events of the past, and its shenhua job to use her memory/time travel ability to make sure that the dragon is once again calmed.

Lightning hitting the city -time stamp 9:53

I am fairly sure this is coming from the dragon. we see that the dragon pulsates with electrical energy - time stamp 9:45 . This is a lightning/thunder dragon. it does seem a bit over kill, since the flood /earthquakes would already have done plenty of damage.

Dragon slithering snake-like though the air – time stamp 11:47 – gives me chills!

Are we viewing the destruction of just this city, or is this a kind of global Armageddon event that’s happening to the entire world?

bailu village ancient city - same location (theory)

bailu village is now located where this great city formerly stood. Shenhua mentioned the ruins of castle walls. The old nobles who were exiled by the emperor possessed great treasures (maybe the magical objects and or the Qing treasures)

so whats the Qing treasures

I think its probably a mixture of the magical artefacts used for all kinds of supernatural purposes and abilities.

And/or they could be certain magical martial arts techniques (that ryo is probably going to learn in order to defeat chinyoumen leaders + tentei. +maybe even chiyou)


now this is all a lot of speculation which may be wrong - but it certainly is fascinating to imagine would could be for the later games.

central shenmue legend if not a spoiler IMO
by the way i don't think the whole central legend is really that much of a spoiler. shenmue 3 could very well have opened with a telling of it, similarly to how its done in the china joy cg - time stamp - 7:46 - panning across the scrolls detailing it.
a lot more to come if you are interested...
Last edited by johnvivant on Sun Dec 22, 2013 5:52 pm, edited 9 times in total.

johnvivant has received 4 thanks from: BlueMue, Giorgio, we420, wude
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Re: Shenmue Mythology - My theories - China Joy 2006 CG anal

Postby DreamcastPast » Sun Dec 22, 2013 3:26 pm

I'm always interested in hearing more...

From Odaryo's translation of the scroll here http://www.shenmuedojo.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=31394&start=15

'The vein of the Dragon may cause a giant chaos.

In the nature, the vein of the Dragon has been neutralized by a pair of mirrors: Dragon and Phoenix.

The Dragon mirror and the Phoenix mirror were sealed in the Dragon's cave.

Hundreds of years ago(in the scroll it is "months", don't know if it is an error), an earthquake occurred, as if a signal for the dying dynasty.

In order to obtain the Dragon's power, a demon entered the cave and stole the dragon's mirror.

The God Dragon awakes, bringing the earth and the nature disasters.

Great earthquakes and giant floods stand for the ending of the dynasty.

The emperor asks three ancient masters for help to control the power of Phoenix.

The lengendary Phoenix comes down from the heaven and fights back the Dragon's attack.

The Dragon's rage has been calmed down. The Dragon and The Phoenix go back to where they were from.

The Dragon's mirror and the Phoenix's mirror have been sealed again. The peace is back.
'

It says the 'Dragon has been neutralized by a pair of mirrors: Dragon and Phoenix.' So it appears that the mirrors subdue the Dragon rather than summoning it...
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Re: Shenmue Mythology - My theories - China Joy 2006 CG anal

Postby johnvivant » Sun Dec 22, 2013 4:18 pm

DreamcastPast wrote: I'm always interested in hearing more...

It says the 'Dragon has been neutralized by a pair of mirrors: Dragon and Phoenix.' So it appears that the mirrors subdue the Dragon rather than summoning it...


yep good point, i'm adding part 2 now, and editing some stuff. thanks
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Re: Shenmue Mythology - My theories - China Joy 2006 CG anal

Postby BlueMue » Sun Dec 22, 2013 6:04 pm

I love reading these kinds of theories and you took a lot of time to come up with these.
It's incredible what the fans have come up with in the years, something that just couldn't have happened if we had gotten Shenmue III since long ago. If fact it's the only "good" side of the long wait, the dedication to dig as deep into the available material as possible.

I have to say quite honestly that I never watched this long version of the Shenmue Online trailer until now, so the entire stuff with the phoenix and dragon is entirely new to me... or it just completely vanquished out of my memory.
Anyways it was very interesting to see this now.

The big question beyond the theories here, is the material shown for Shenmue Online actually canonical with the actual Shenmue Saga? I'm really not sure about that. It could very well be how the events in Shenmue III turn out but it's also highly possible that they took alot more fantasy into the story for SO to make it go with the fantasy elements ingame and thus make it a spinoff. It's really hard to figure this out for me as it is not an easy thing to do in general. There are no official statements, as we all know, so we can only speculate. But hey, that's what we're good at.
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