Late last night, the creator of the Shenmue series Yu Suzuki went on Reddit to answer fan’s questions about Shenmue III and his career. We would like to thank the Shenmue Dojo for compiling all the questions and answers into one post! You can read all of Suzuki-san’s responses below:
Q: How accurately will Shenmue III be compared to your original vision of the game or will there be major compromises?
YS: There are a total of 11 chapters that make up the whole story. Over the past 14 years I originally planned for there to 4 or five games to the series. If at all possible, I would still like to realize the full story of 11 chapters.
Q: Will Shenmue III enable PayPal or a means to donate to the project when the Kickstarter ends? Projects like Star Citizen gained tens of millions in donations by allowing this.
YS: I am still thinking about it, but have not decided yet.
Q: Shenmue is a Peach Blossom tree correct? Could you tell us what type of tree exactly?
I would like to plant one.
YS: It is more like a cherry blossom tree, that blooms its flowers in the springtime. It is actually a tree I made up for the story.
Q: Hello Suzuku-san! Will a day-to-night cycle and weather system return to Shenmue 3? They added so much to the atmosphere of previous games. Thank you Suzuki-san!
YS: Of course!
Q: Will you reassure us that Ryo’s face will be changed back to the Ryo we all know and love when Shenmue 3 releases, and not this impostor wearing Ryo’s jacket that you have on Kickstarter? That is NOT our Ryo!
YS: I am not happy with Ryo’s face. It will be the face I have in my mind in the end.
Q: Will the gameplay in Shenmue III be more contemporary or will it be more in line with past Shenmue iterations?
YS: As for III, I would like to make a less stressful user interface, that will feature more usability. From now on, I will make that a focus.
Q: Yu are my hero!
Shenmue is credited with introducing the QTE. Given the significant advances in gaming systems and technology over the last decade, are you confident that you can show the gaming world something we have not seen before?
YS: Thank you very much.
Q: Will we see any capsule toys based on Ape Escape or any of the Sony franchise in Shenmue 3?
YS: I have not decided the capsule toys, so please keep your ideas coming.
Q: Have you ever consider telling the rest of the tale for Shenmue in a book if the opportunity to make Shenmue III never came up?
YS: Yes, I have but if I did do that, it would give away the end of the story, and I thought that would be a big minus.
Q: What was your inspiration for the story behind the first two Shenmue games?
YS: When I was making Virtua Fighter, I went location hunting in China. I was very inspired by Chinese martial arts. That very well may have been the beginning.
Q: Will practicing moves make a return in Shenmue 3 along with the FREE battle system? A lot of fans feel not being able to practice moves was big piece missing in Shenmue 2, and I also personally loved being able to practice and make the moves stronger. It really makes you feel as if you are learning marital arts and then performing them in a skill-based actual battle feels very satisfying.
YS: I want to do it yes!
Q: Will players have access to both the Japanese and English voice overs for the game?
And I wanted to say thank you so much for Shenmue and Shenmue II, it brought a tear to my eye seeing those games at E3 during the Shenmue III announcement, I cannot wait. Those two games are what made me curious about Japan as a child, and I am now trying to work as a Japanese translator!
YS: I am thinking about that, yes. However it is not for sure.
It is because of fans like you, I wanted to make a sequel. Thank you very much.
Q: Will the band-aid ever come off?
YS: I am considering a special option where it could be removed.
Q: Will we see Ryo’s Journal return? Would be cool to be able to flip the pages using the PS4’s touchpad.
YS: I would like to bring back the Journal. That is an interesting idea, I will look into it. Thank you.
Q: What do you think of the current state of Japanese game development?
YS: I see the share of mobile games increasing, the budgets of games decreasing. It will be harder to express a game’s vision.
I would hope the console and PC markets gain more popularity.
Q: Any possibility of a bicycle finally being added to Shenmue 3? Thank you so much again, Yu!
YS: There is a 60 horsepower bike in Shenmue 1. For Shenmue, 3 I was thinking about something with 1 horsepower.
Q: Will character polls compromise your artistic vision?
YS: I really want to get everyone’s opinion on the characters. I have something in mind that won’t break the world immersion.
Q: In Suzuki-san’s opinion, what is the essence of arcade games? Are those influences in Shenmue?
YS: With an arcade game, you are restricted to a 3 minute window to express what the game is. That is how I made games for the longest time. I wanted to create a game that could be played at a more leisurely pace, so I created what ended up being Shenmue.
Q: Yu, are you really going to be signing your autograph on the illustration for the $300 kickstarter signed collectors edition? So far there is almost 2000 backers, that is a lot of illustrations to sign!
YS: Of course I will write them all myself!
Q: Will Shenmue 3 have any sort of multiplayer component? Perhaps Co-op or a versus mode?
YS: I am thinking about something that would resemble that.
Q: Do you have any more details to share about the stretch goals? It’s not clear to me what a “Rapport System” or “Character Perspective System” entails.
YS: They are new systems, so naturally they need new names. The Rapport System will govern changes in Shenhua’s actions depending on your conversations with or actions towards her. The “Character Perspective System” will highlight different characters personalities as they go through the story.
Q: What will Ryo do to earn money in Shenmue 3?
As great and engrossing as the story and gameplay were in Shenmue 1 and 2, I (and many others) really really liked the forklift driving. It was like I could learn a new (video game) skill, get good at it, and putter around the docks like a badass.
YS: There will be part time jobs that will be indicative of those you would find in China. In the Stretch goals there will also be the old favorites.
Q: Do you have any dogs or cats?
YS: 3 yorkshire terriers and a turtle.
Q: Love your work! You are a pioneer in this industry! As for my question:
How much game elements/features will we be missing in the game if the campaign doesn’t reach the $5 million mark?
YS: I will say this: if we reach the $5 mil mark, one of the things I really want to do with Shenmue 3 will become a reality.
At $10 million, it will truly have the features of an open world.
Q: Who would win a fight between Ryo and Akira?
YS: Akira! Akira is up to 5 now, and Ryo is still on 3.
Q: Can we expect more duck racing in Shenmue III? That was the best easter egg I’ve ever seen in a video game.
YS: I would love it.
Q: How was it working with mega64?
YS: It was really fun. I would love to do it again.
I hope they pitch in for the replica Ryo jacktet!
Q: Will there be forklift gameplay in Shenmue III?
YS: Look for it in the Stretch Goals!
Q:Given Shenmue 2’s ending and previous items found within the series; will swordplay enter gameplay at all? What about the story, can we expect Ryo to use a sword at some point?
YS: I can’t answer that.
Q: Do you have a favorite game that you’ve developed other than Shenmue?
YS: I had fun making all the games I worked on, and can’t say one was better than another. Boring answer I know, but it really is true.
Q:I only have one statement. I think I speak for everyone here when I say that Shenmue is one of the greatest game series of all time. And one quick question, what can we expect for surprises in the 3rd installment without spoiling the storyline at all?
YS: How could I do that? Sorry, gotta pass. Thank you very much though!
Q: I’ve always wondered, why did you set the game in the 1980s rather than present day?
YS: I wanted put forward the differences in culture and values between the two periods.
Q: (Suzuki-san, thank you for coming today! Shenmue is the reason I came to Japan. Those living towns and people you showed in your games were so natural and real, that I wanted to see it for myself. So, now I am in my fourth year of living in Japan.
What I’d like to ask is, if you had billions of yen, what would your dream Shenmue be?
Also, were there any features or gameplay you liked that didn’t make it into Shenmue 1 or 2?)
YS: One where the player could live in that world. A second life.
Q: I have two important questions for you:
Do you know where I can find some sailors?
Would you like to try a game of Lucky Hit?
YS: Yes, but not right now.
Q: love the music from Shenmue, if anything kept me thinking about Shenmue from time to time during these 10+ years it was the music. Was is your favorite piece from the soundtrack? Thank you for bringing Shenmue to our lives, I can’t thank you enough.
YS: Of course I love both the Shenmue and Shenhua themes, and all of them really, but the one that really sticks with me is the Tomato Mart.
Q: Will there be more funding tiers added to the Shenmue 3 Kickstarter, specifically between the $500 and $3000 tier?
Q: Shenmue 3 is just the start. How successful does the game need to be for us to get Shenmue 4 and so on until the saga is complete?
YS: If the fans are not happy with 3 there will not be a 4. So I please hope we can together make this game the best it can be.
Q: What Sega console is your favourite and why?
YS: The Dreamcast. It has really good balance. I was involved with the hardware as well, so it had a lot of meaning for me.
Q: Suzuki-San…welcome to the fantasy zone! It’s finally happening. Any plans on more arcade games within Shenmue III?
YS: I plan on making plans.
Q: Why do you create?
YS: Why does one climb the mountain?
The shark cannot breath when it does not swim.
Q: Any info on the stretch goals for Choubu and Bailu village?
YS: Choubu is a riverside village with lots of shops, souvenir stores, hotels and temples. The quests in this village should be very enjoyable, I think.
Bailu is the village where Shenhua was raised and also a place that Ryo’s father, Iwao, had visited when he was younger. Here as well the quests will play an important role as Ryo and Shenhua start their journey.
Q: Are all the towns listed in the Kickstarter stretch goals in the game already, or are the stretch goals only there as a means to help give them more features and spice?
YS: They are there, but with more powered up through the stretch goals.
Q: Will Ryo ever go back to Japan?
YS: Not in 3.
Q: Who is your favorite Shenmue character?
YS: It has always been Shenhua.
Q: Are you still involved in any programming activities?
YS: I still write algorithms, logic verification, and make simple prototypes.
Q: Do you play airsoft, paintball, or anything similar?
YS: I think it was Afterburner that I really got into airsoft. The office floor was covered with plastic BBs. Yeah, the Berretta 93R rocks. I put a real hunting scope on that one.
Q: Are you at all a fan of Anime? If so, what are your favourites?
YS: Sure, but its all pretty old stuff.
Q: Will the game take advantage of the virtual reality goggles on PS4 and PC?
YS: Right now, there are no plans for a vr system compatibility, but I love the idea of using it to peer into the world of Shenmue.
Q: When creating Shenmue 3, will you use any assets at all from 1 & 2? Or do you have to start all over from scratch because SEGA still owns the first two games?
YS: The assets from 1 & 2 will get a lot of use.
As you can see, there’s a lot to take in here but the most interesting bit from the AMA is the part where Suzuki-san says that $10 million is needed in order to truly experience an open world. What are your thoughts on Yu Suzuki’s responses? Share them in the comments below![via Shenmue Dojo]