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Shenmue III’s latest update features work-in-progress facial animations

In the latest Kickstarter update, Yu Suzuki and the team give us a sneak peek at some of the work-in-progress facial animations that they have been working on. The video shows off some of the characters Ryo and Shenhua will encounter in the game, which include a middle-aged woman in a yellow flowered shirt and a younger woman in a red blouse.

Shenmue fan site Phantom River Stone translated the subtitles that appeared beneath the characters, which you can check out below.

Translation of Subtitles

While these animations are playing, a few in-game subtitles in Japanese are displayed, so let’s have a look at their meaning.

In total I identified 5 different subtitle lines. I’ve tried to group them together meaningfully for the purpose of this analysis.

Keep in mind that these are within the context of a testing scenario, so there is no guarantee that they will appear in the actual story. At the same time, their content does sound quite feasible.

Warning: the subtitles and associated discussion below may contain potential (but minor) spoilers.

Subtitles 1 & 2

The first two subtitles, which are in a purple color, are:

Subtitle 1: “The day before yesterday, a bunch of thugs turned up.”
Subtitle 2: “Yeah, they weren’t characters I’ve seen round here before.”


This sounds like responses from a villager – possibly the woman in this demo – that Ryo or Shenhua questions to try to work out what happened.

The thugs that are mentioned may be tied in with the scene we saw in a previous Kickstarter update video (Update #65 – read our previous post here), where Ryo was examining a house in the village (Shenhua’s?) that had been ransacked.

Subtitles 3 & 4

The next two subtitles are in yellow:

Subtitle 3: “Ryo, you search here and I’ll look around the village over there.”
Subtitle 4: “We may find a clue about Father!”


This is surely Shenhua speaking to Ryo, anxious to find out what has happened to her step-father who went missing at the cave. Here we can also see an implication that the two split up and cover different areas.

The update also mentioned the Kickstarter backer surveys, which are still being worked on and will be “some time” before they are sent out. Stay tuned to this site for the latest Shenmue III news!

What do you think about those animations? Discuss in the comments below!

Via PhantomRiverStone 

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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