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Yu Suzuki’s latest interview discusses Shenmue III’s Character Perspective System, soundtrack, and more

Ever since Shenmue II ended on that cliffhanger 15 years ago, it has been one long wait for Shenmue fans to see the story continue. When Yu Suzuki came out on stage at last year’s E3 to announce Shenmue III, Shenmue fans across the globe broke the internet (as well as records) by making the sequel to Suzuki-san’s magnum opus the fastest funded video game Kickstarter in history.

Yu Suzuki, Gio Corsi, Corey Marshall, and others could not stress enough how important it was for Shenmue fans across the globe to voice their opinions about a third game being made. The combined efforts of Shenmue fan-sites (Shenmue Dojo), the #SaveShenmue Twitter campaign, and other outlets proved to all of the detractors that the impossible could become a reality.

At MAGIC Monaco, Peter Campbell and James Hamill, two fans who were integral to the #SaveShenmue campaign, had a chance to sit down with Yu Suzuki and ask the burning questions that were still unanswered. When it came to the storytelling of Shenmue, Hamill and Campbell asked Suzuki how important it was to finish Shenmue‘s story as a video game.


“‘Being in game form is the most important thing,’ he said of the ongoing series, ‘I believe that Shenmue’s meaning comes from being a game.’ He added however that although it forms just one part of Shenmue, he had received so many questions about the story that he has ‘always felt a responsibility’ to tell how it plays out, and had therefore considered options like a graphic novel or anime.”

During Shenmue III‘s Kickstarter, it was revealed that Ryo Hazuki’s jacket and jeans combo could be switched out for different clothing. In the interview, Suzuki mentioned that it is not certain how far the the clothing customization will go, but he hopes that Shenhua will have multiple styles of clothing.

“‘We haven’t reached the point of testing that part yet, so it’s hard to say,’ admitted Suzuki-san, ‘However, I guess I’d like at least to change his clothing. And with Shenhua in particular, her home is located nearby; so if her clothes always stay the same, it would imply she only owns one costume – that wouldn’t do!’

Suzuki added that he wants to ‘create some good designs’ for Shenhua’s clothing, and team up with an actual clothes designer for the task.”

According to Yu Suzuki, Shenmue III‘s soundtrack will include various arrangements of music from the first two Shenmue games, as well as some new and unused pieces.

“When asked about the use of music in Shenmue III, the maestro explained that when originally planning out the series he ‘thought of musical pieces to fit the various scenes’ that would form each chapter. ‘And so we have lots of music available to us now: a great many pieces, that were composed and created back then. And I would say not even 20% of them have been used in Shenmue I and II.’


‘With Shenmue III,’ he continued, ‘There are a number of musical pieces we will be creating, but we’ll also be making use of past ones, for example in arrangements. There are many pieces that fit the original concept well, so this is the approach I’d like to take.'”

For many Shenmue fans, Shenmue III‘s logo has become a hot topic for discussion. It was not certain whether the original logo would be used on Shenmue III‘s cover art, or if the current logo would be used instead.

“‘The one I like at the moment is that logo there,’ he said while pointing to the newer block-lettered version on Peter’s T-shirt, ‘The reason I say that is that recently – you’re familiar with cursive writing? Where each letter is joined to the next. With this one the letters are separated from each other, right? With cursive, the letters run together. They say there are many young people nowadays who can’t read cursive writing. So that’s why I decided to separate out the Shenmue logo, to make it easier to read.’

If Shenmue is to reach a new audience in the modern era, one obstacle it may have to overcome is that its name is essentially meaningless to any non-Japanese speaker unaware of its relevance. With the word being unfamiliar to all other languages, perhaps at least making it more easily readable is an important step to avoid premature dismissal by casual browsers of game store shelves.”


One stretch goal that the fans succeeded in unlocking was the Character Perspective System, which will allow the players to take control of other characters besides Ryo. Yu Suzuki gave a little more insight into this new feature, mentioning the different “personalities” each character has.

“Suzuki confirmed that Ren’s style of combat will differ from Ryo’s, and that Shenhua doesn’t fight. ‘She’s smart and uses other tactics,’ he noted, before explaining that ‘the Character Perspective system is not a system that simply changes your character. It simulates each person’s personality, and the way they think and behave.'”

When it comes to video games, most fans only recognize the publisher and its brand name (like SEGA) as opposed the actual game designers. According to Yu Suzuki, individual designers should get more credit for their work.

“‘I think that is something that needs to happen,’ replied Suzuki with conviction, ‘Game creators should be properly… For example, with song composers, artists, and movie directors, nowadays they have their names credited. So yes, I think their names should be properly shown and made clear. I think that children – the next generation – need people to aspire to. So I think the game industry needs to provide the proper recognition.'”

You can read original post on the interview by clicking here. The new bits of information from the latest Yu Suzuki interview certainly has many fans, including myself, begging for more. While Shenmue III is not scheduled to make an appearance at this year’s E3, I hope that YS Net sheds some light on the Character Perspective System with some in-game footage.

What are your thoughts on the latest Suzuki interview? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Via Shenmue Dojo 




Marcin Gulik

Been a gamer all my life. Studied Sociology and Criminology in college, and traveled for a bit. I like long walks on the beach and I like to listen to... (wait wrong site....) Sega Dreamcast and Shenmue all the way!

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