29 January 2003:
As previously reported, BeGN have done an interview with Shin Ishikawa, the team leader and director of all the Shenmue games so far. The interview is now up and includes lots of exciting new information. Click here to read the interview.
I have two pieces of news I've been meaning to post in a while. I will summarise the interview after that, but I recommend that you read it, it is really interesting (and although from a Belgium site, it's in English).
Firstly, there is a Shenmue II playable demo and trailer on the February issue of the Official Xbox Magazine in America. The demo is the part is a free battle and QTE taken from when you are doing the Chawan sign part of the game.
Secondly, although there is still no Japanese release of Shenmue II on Xbox planned (yet), it is being re-released on Dreamcast. Yes, about 30,000 copies of the game are to be re-released exclusively through Sega Direct, which is Sega Japan's online store on March 6th 2003. They said this was due to demand from players, so this is good news.
Now, on to the summary of the interview. Although he didn't confirm that Shenmue 3 will be on Xbox but that it is quite likely it will be and that they haven't decided about release dates yet. He said that chapter 2 was on the boat and is in neither game. Shenmue II contains chapters 3-6 and that Shenmue 3 will start on chapter 7. The series is planned to end on chapter 16. He said they spent two years working on the Saturn version. Interestingly, he mentions Shenmue 4, as in he says sequels and on his chapter plan, Shenmue 4 is present. This could mean we have at least one new Shenmue game to look forward to. There was no news on the rumour about a chapter being a movie though. Again, he says the series is only being continued due to fan response.
18 January 2003:
The site has moved to:
Please update your bookmarks.
The page can also be accessed through http://www.shenmuelegend.cjb.net
All further updates will be at the new address. For the moment the site will remain as it is here but will soon be deleted with a message linking to the new address. I don't know if the new address is permanent though but it has to be done for now.
15 January 2003:
Belgium gaming site BeGN says that they have done an interview with AM2 in which they stated that Shenmue III will be a game and released on the Xbox. Apparantely they are not allowed to publish the interview for another two weeks. This could mean that AM2 are going to announce the game soon.
11 January 2003:
Sorry for bringing you this a bit late. But here is the current situation. There is some huge news about Shenmue III that appeared in an interview with Yu Suzuki in the first issue of GMR, a new games magazine in America made in conjuction with Electronics Boutique. This is what the interview said about Shenmue:
GMR: With Shenmue II completed, can you tell us about Shenmue III? We know you had to compress multiple chapters into Shenmue II because of cost constraints. Will you have to further condense the series?
Suzuki: The series will continue, but I think we will go with a different approach for Shenmue III. I'd like to make the next chapter into a movie.
GMR: A CG movie, kind of like the one on the free DVD that comes with Shenmue II?
GMR: Is it true that Shenmue originally began life as a Virtua Fighter RPG?
Suzuki: That's something of an urban myth. When we were first planning the game, Akira (from Virtua Fighter) was scheduled to be the main character, and the working title was Akira's Quest. As development progressed, we felt it would be better to start with a brand-new character.
Basically, Yu Suzuki is saying that the next chapter of the Shenmue series is going to be a CG movie!!! This seems to come as a bit of a shock as Yu has previously stated that the next game will be the last. However, this quote leaves a lot to answer for, is only the next chapter of the series going to be a movie with a game finishing it?
Will this movie be released in cinemas or simply be included on a DVD with the next game release with the idea to watch the movie before starting the game?
The official Shenmue Muecas site has posted a comment on this which says that it is likely that Shenmue III will be a movie of which there will be no game version. However, this still doesn't clear up the issue of whether that movie will end the series or whether a game will be released after it.
Interestingly, one of our old polls on this site asked "If the Shenmue games stopped being made, how would you like the story to continue?" and the answer with the most votes was in fact a CG Movie, which had 33% of the votes, compared to 18% for the next most popular choice.
Hopefully the situation will be cleared up in the future, but until then, I guess we are looking forward to the next chapter of Shenmue to be a computer generated movie.
In light of this big news, I've made a new poll. It basically asks what you think about the news. The poll is on the right if you want to vote in it.
4 January 2003:
Earlier today I said I would make a page showing you the usused screenshots from Shenmue II when it was in production which the official Muecas site had months ago. Well now it is up. Click here to see the images, complete with translations of the dialogue. This links in a lot with the loading screens left on the Shenmue II discs.
4 January 2003:
Hello again, well, i've updated a few things that needed doing. The releases page, the history page, and the adverts page.
This following picture appeared before the New Year on the Japanese Shenmue.com Muecas website. It apparantely depicts four bigshots of the Chi You Men. Lan Di can be seen in full colour and Niao Sun is fading into colour suggesting that she is the next to feature in the games. Who the other two are we can only guess. Many people are suggesting that the person on the right is Hong Ziming, but that is only conjecture.
LanDC, a regular of the Shenmuedojo forums has done a little digging around with the files of Shenmue II on the Xbox. He has found that some loading screens exist for places that never made it into the final version of the game. These include "Miao Village", "Miao Guang Temple", and "Thick Forest". All of these loading screens were found on disc 4. Shown below is the loading screen for Miao Village.
Possibly these places are the names of the scenes were the unused screenshots shown on the Muecas site months ago. I will bring you these unused screenshots in a page tomorrow, but you have probably already seen them. I also want to make a page of other screenshots which depict unused parts of the game from before the first Shenmue came out.
2 January 2003:
Happy New Year!
Well, I haven't bothered moving the site yet, as you can see, but I have added all the submissions people have sent me since I have been away.
Basically, the Fan Creations page has had a big update, 2 more stories are added and 2 more midis as well as a big piece of sheet music for you musicians:
The first story is actually just a very detailed descriptive piece called Enter The Immortals which is very good.
The second story comprises three chapters and is called Before the snow turned to rain...
The two midis are a harp version of the Shenmue theme and an orchestral version of Shenhua. They can be heard by clicking on the Midi Player icon to the right, or clicking here to download them.
Jason L, who created the 2nd midi has also submitted the full orchestral score of the Shenhua theme. It is 32 pages long as it contains the parts for all the instruments in the piece! Click here to download it.
I should be getting round to moving the page and also updating more stuff, so look out for more updates soon.
29 December 2002:
Hello!! It's nice to be able to access my site again finally. I guess I should explain what the situation is about the lack of updates. Ok, as you can tell, this site is currently hosted by BT-Internet. The problem is that they only let you alter the site if you are connected to the internet via a BT Internet account.
My new place has a broadband connection, not with BT, and therefore I can't access the account, especially as I have no phone lead or anything to connect to BT. At the moment I am back at my old place with my old computer and connection and so now can access the site. But anyway, what does this all mean you ask? Well, the Shenmue Legend is moving. Yes, we will be moving hosts. This means the URL will change.
I hope also to get a cjb.net address which means I can keep changing hosts and you don't have to keep updating your links. So look out soon because the site will soon move to a new address.
Thanks also to all those that have still visited and emailed me whilst the site has been stagnant. Thanks to all those who have sent stuff in to be put onto the site. Once I have moved the site to a new address I will start updating it with the submissions and all the stuff I wanted to add months ago. Hopefully this will be soon, but no promises.
Onto some of the news that has happened since the last update, plus, we have some new news regarding the European release:
Firstly, the biggest and most obvious thing is that Shenmue II was released on the Xbox in America. I think that it came out on November 6th, but I'm not sure. Anyway, so what changed? You could view the game in colour, sepia and black and white, as well as improved graphics.
The only new feature was that you could take snapshots at any point in the game, and if you collected snapshots of people you could come across some hidden bonus comics. These are the English translations of the Shenmue: Side-Story mangas that we brought you months ago, plus some which we didn't have. These will be uploaded onto the new site.
The game also included Shenmue: The Movie DVD.
A Prima Games Guide book was released for the Xbox game. However, this guide is really poor compared to their guide for Shenmue 1. There is no in-depth character profiles or pictures of all the items. So, basically it has less extras than before but still has a full walkthrough. I have yet to see the guide so do not know how good/bad it is.
Yu Suzuki comfirmed that the Shenmue series will be spread over THREE games. This means that the final game is yet to come, but that the next game is the final one. No news on platform. This could be an indication that the series has been cut down from the original 16 chapters due to sales well below their expectations.
Finally, the release date for Shenmue II on Xbox in Europe has been announced as 21 March 2003.
Ok, thats it for now. Hopefully soon I will move the site to a new address and start updating everything again. Bye for now, and also Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I've missed it again, but check out our Shenmue Winter/Xmas page.
Click here to view old news/updates.
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