Shenhua is a ghost

(Chapters 3-6)

Shenhua is a ghost

Postby Jeff » Sun Oct 12, 2014 10:20 pm

I'm playing Shenmue I right now and I saw a scene I never saw before. Speaking to the Antique shop owner about the mirror, he stated that in ancient China the emperor ordered that mirror to be made. That's when it occurred to me, Shenhua is a ghost. Her father whom you never see was the one who created the mirrors. You also never see her talk to anyone else or have any knowledge of simple technologies like basic machinery. I think she only appears to the one who holds the mirror as she only appears in dream sequences for Ryo once he has the mirror in possession.
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Re: Shenhua is a ghost

Postby Axm » Mon Oct 13, 2014 1:42 am

Its a decent theory and one thats been thrown around before alittle. But what would the Emperors ordering of the mirror to be made have to do with ghosts? Or did it simply just jot a seperate theory for you at the time?
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Re: Shenhua is a ghost

Postby BlueMue » Mon Oct 13, 2014 8:38 am

That's really an interesting theory. Shenhua is surely something special and I always had the feeling that she was from another time alltogether, either by being reborn or ageing extremely slow somehow. That she is a ghost would fit right in there.

The thing about her only appearing to those who hold the mirror really caught my attention here.
You actually do see her interact with someone other then Ryo, in the bad ending. And Lan Di is holding the phoenix mirror at that point! He seems to know about her in some way though. But that scene is not canonically anyway.
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Re: Shenhua is a ghost

Postby johnvivant » Mon Oct 13, 2014 8:44 am

also in project berkely cg we see her get smacked around by lan di and then restrained by the 2 martial arts guys.

also didn't Suzuki in that kenji interview say that she is a real person with an ability to link with her ancestors memories.

really good theory though, if we didn't have this other information.

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Re: Shenhua is a ghost

Postby Jeff » Mon Oct 13, 2014 9:37 pm

Axm wrote: Its a decent theory and one thats been thrown around before alittle. But what would the Emperors ordering of the mirror to be made have to do with ghosts? Or did it simply just jot a seperate theory for you at the time?

Because there are no Chinese Emperors in the 1980's and the antique store owner said that an ancient emperor ordered it be made by a stone maker, Shenhua's father is the stone maker in Guilin.

Also to keep in mind she said that the village of Guilin had about 50 people, in 1987 there was sure as hell alot more people there back then than that and there were cars, machines, etc. Maybe something happened after Ryo got washed away in that river. Maybe Ryo didn't survive and was a ghost too... maybe the series is finished... (mind blown)
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Re: Shenhua is a ghost

Postby Axm » Mon Oct 13, 2014 9:45 pm

Jeff wrote:
Axm wrote: Its a decent theory and one thats been thrown around before alittle. But what would the Emperors ordering of the mirror to be made have to do with ghosts? Or did it simply just jot a seperate theory for you at the time?

Because there are no Chinese Emperors in the 1980's and the antique store owner said that an ancient emperor ordered it be made by a stone maker, Shenhua's father is the stone maker in Guilin.

Also to keep in mind she said that the village of Guilin had about 50 people, in 1987 there was sure as hell alot more people there back then than that and there were cars, machines, etc. Maybe something happened after Ryo got washed away in that river. Maybe Ryo didn't survive and was a ghost too... maybe the series is finished... (mind blown)

Or simply Shenhua is immortal and is just living forever until the day she is needed to fight the Chiyu and die.
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Re: Shenhua is a ghost

Postby ys » Mon Oct 13, 2014 10:18 pm

Hm, I never thought like that and hadn't heard that one before. Something that springs to my mind is her performance with those dandelions in any case.

This thread inspired me to look up some old discussions now. I found a few interesting ones from 2003-2004.
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Re: Shenhua is a ghost

Postby STRYKIE » Mon Oct 13, 2014 11:23 pm

Jeff wrote: Maybe something happened after Ryo got washed away in that river. Maybe Ryo didn't survive and was a ghost too... maybe the series is finished... (mind blown)

While this is an intriguing idea, isn't it still systematically possible to trigger the bad ending after that scene if you finish disc 3 on say, July 29th, and both Ryo and Shenhua are seen by the still alive Lan Di?

Or maybe the sight of that deer threw Lan Di off balance on the ladder of the chopper en route to Guilin, fell to his death and the deer attempted to kick the bucket himself out of guilt... we must go deeper..
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Re: Shenhua is a ghost

Postby SledgeNE » Tue Oct 14, 2014 3:53 am

Good idea. Shenmue is in the ending of Shenmue II very mystical. But i don't believe, that Shenhua is a Ghost. Ryo is dreaming about her and the landshape were she stands and let the falcon flying.
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Re: Shenhua is a ghost

Postby Giorgio » Tue Oct 14, 2014 7:42 am

First question that has been raised on the surface of my mind: If Shenhua is a ghost (or some spiritual being that has taken a flesh and blood form) and probably came/time-traveled from another realm of time or parallel universe (what the heck am I saying...), then how she could even acknowledge she has a stepfather?

An interesting theory. Though, if it gets fixed in some flawed sides, then it may bring interesting results. Surely, and based on Yu Suzuki's comments, somehow she can connect with her ancestors from the past, like, their memories and experiences has been engraved on her subconscious mind... Exempli gratia, she can close her eyes and see the bustling city of Luoyang, which she has never visit before.

Jeff wrote:[...] she only appears in dream sequences for Ryo once he has the mirror in possession.
Indeed. Good point!
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Re: Shenhua is a ghost

Postby nskachu » Tue Oct 14, 2014 8:33 am

But she also appears before on every item of the tomato convenience shop so she is rather a model than a ghost. Being sarcastic is a bit difficult on the internet. So, before people start to actually believe this: I think your theory is interesting but lacks facts and instead has paradox parts. She is more of an avatar than a ghost.
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Re: Shenhua is a ghost

Postby Giorgio » Tue Oct 14, 2014 9:06 am

nskachu wrote: But she also appears before on every item of the tomato convenience shop so she is rather a model than a ghost. Being sarcastic is a bit difficult on the internet. So, before people start to actually believe this: I think your theory is interesting but lacks facts and instead has paradox parts. She is more of an avatar than a ghost.

And Ren's name appears on the high-score rankings of Hang-On in the arcade, therefore he is a high-score entry and not a human!

Shenhua's ability to connect with her ancestors in some way, rings the bells of reincarnation. While doing a bit of research I dug this up: There is a Chinese female deity by the name Meng-Po. Also known as Lady Meng ("Dream"). ["Dream"... sounds a bit suspicious with Shenhua in Ryo's dreams. Indeed, mind games with associations...]

Of course it seems way off when you read
She is waiting for you at the Ninth Chinese Hell in Feng-Du [...]
but the following strongly influence you to make an association (even though it's a false one...):
One sip of her Five-Flavored Tea of Forgetfulness and you will lose all memory of who you were. This ensures that when you are reborn you can start with a clean slate.

One more interesting bit:
There is no known antidote to Lady Meng’s potion (although some people claim that hypnotic regression can help you remember past lives). Only Buddha himself managed to shake off the effects — after meditation revealed to him his previous lives.
As said, Shenhua manages to see things she claims has never visited before (at least in her current life...) when she closes her eyes. Closing her eyes, like, meditation? And that meditation helps her "remember past lives"?

It's normal to grasp at straws when you only have a few details of the plot at your disposal. Nonetheless, it's a fun activity (especially while you learn some of the ethnic culture/mythology you research for.)

Also, old interesting topics about Shenhua [list updated progressively]:
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Re: Shenhua is a ghost

Postby Esppiral » Tue Oct 14, 2014 9:44 am

Jeff wrote: I'm playing Shenmue I right now and I saw a scene I never saw before. Speaking to the Antique shop owner about the mirror, he stated that in ancient China the emperor ordered that mirror to be made. That's when it occurred to me, Shenhua is a ghost. Her father whom you never see was the one who created the mirrors. You also never see her talk to anyone else or have any knowledge of simple technologies like basic machinery. I think she only appears to the one who holds the mirror as she only appears in dream sequences for Ryo once he has the mirror in possession.



I actually like this theory, in fact I believe it is very feasible. =D>
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Re: Shenhua is a ghost

Postby Jeff » Tue Oct 14, 2014 7:45 pm

Let me add to this about as I mulled this over a bit more tonight. When Ryo gets off the boat and talks to people in that very small village, there are people walking the trail which Ryo starts trekking on. When the weather all of a sudden goes from blue skies to thunderstorm and Ryo goes into the river and eventually blacks out, he then wakes up to find Shenhua and the goat, but the most interesting thing which may completely go over our heads is that since that point, nobody else is seen on all those trails, not one other person passing through.... In fact the whole rest of the game you see not a soul other than Shenhua. Maybe he's not dead per se, I doubt that given what we know that happens after of what has been disclosed. However, maybe all of that was sort of an alternate universe kind of like in Sonic Adventure, or even a dream? It did seem way too magical at the end compared to the theme of the entire game from Chapter One. Maybe after the cave Shenhua sort of dissappears, at least for a time and Ryo goes back to the home to find it's in a state of disrepair as nobody could have lived in there for years. However Shenhua's spirit guided Ryo to Guilin as the Phoenix is the spirit that protects life.
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Re: Shenhua is a ghost

Postby Fenix » Tue Oct 14, 2014 8:36 pm

I don't believe she's a ghost but well, it's very strange what you guy says. It's true that we haven't seen ShenHua with another person except Ryo. Strange, very very strange.
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