As fans count down the months, days, hours and minutes till the release of Shenmue 3, Yu Suzuki is normally found in his Tokyo development studio at Ys Net, where his “impossible sequel” is being polished and prepped for launch on August 27th.
But earlier this month he was almost a world away, surrounded by sports cars and casinos on the French Riviera. While the sun beat down on the winding, sloping streets of Monaco however, Suzuki would be on stage in a conference hall, discussing the game before rows of nostalgic fans, and revealing a new trailer so reassuring that it drew tears in the tiers.
In between these keynote appearances, Suzuki’s schedule at MAGIC 2019 would be packed with two hour-long autograph sessions and a number of behind-closed-doors previews with members of the press. Squeezing in a bunch of interviews with the online fan community would have to wait for the next event on the marketing calendar.
If this were any star guest but Yu Suzuki.
Instead, our representatives were invited to his hotel the previous day, and the legendary game designer gave up his afternoon to talk shop, through an interpreter, with people who’d grown up playing Out Run, Space Harrier, Virtua Fighter, and the series that brought them all together.
Shenmue 500K member Rob Glass recently met up with series voiceover star Eric Kelso, who recorded a special message for the Facebook group – speaking not only as himself, but also his three best known alter egos from the Shenmue games.
First Eric adopts the role of opportunistic, fortune-seeking gang leader Ren of Heavens. Then enters the deadly cynic Gui Zhang, finally giving way to everyone’s second favorite student of the Hazuki Dojo, the timid Fuku-san.
It’s incredible to witness the apparent ease with which three vastly different personalities emerge from the same actor in quick succession! Our thanks to Eric for always being a great sport with the Shenmue fan community!
Corey “Ryo Hazuki” Marshall is joined by his cast mates from the Shenmue series in unofficially reprising their roles for this plea to gamers, requesting urgent funds for residents in disaster stricken areas of Texas, Florida, and the Caribbean, recently hit by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.
In addition to lives tragically lost, the damage caused by this unprecedented series of storms has destroyed homes, livelihoods, and turned day-to-day living upside-down for many in the affected areas, including members of the Shenmue fan community.
With your help, survivors can make the best of a terrible situation and restore some normality to their world that was changed beyond recognition overnight.
To donate whatever you can spare, please visit OneAmericaAppeal.org, an aid project endorsed by every living former US President, and now the cast of this enduring Dreamcast saga.
Our thanks to all of the voiceover artists for giving their time and their talents to this cause in that distinctive Shenmue style. If you enjoyed their reunion then please reward its purpose, and act without hesitation to do the right thing.
Big congratulations to Dustin Janzen for winning our recent raffle to win a copy of Shenmue II signed by Yu Suzuki himself! Thanks for the picture, Dustin!
The raffle raised money for orphaned kitties at a Japanese animal shelter, as part of the Shenmue Heart of Gold campaign. Major thanks to everyone who took part, and please keep your eyes peeled for future contests announced via this website, the Facebook group, and on our Twitter account.
Right after the release of an in-development teaser video for Shenmue III, Gamescom 2017 in Cologne brought developer Ys Net into the center of a media feeding frenzy, with director Yu Suzuki’s schedule fully booked with interviews that continue to surface on websites of varying languages.
Nonetheless, the legendary creator behind some of Sega’s best loved games (including Virtua Fighter, Out Run, Space Harrier, Daytona USA, and more) still managed to squeeze in two busy Meet & Greet sessions with fans and some exclusive interviews with the Shenmue fan community.
You can already read Shenmue Dojo’s interview on their forum, and another from French site Shenmue Master is on its way. But what follows is the first interview conducted by Shenmue 500K, the series’ largest dedicated Facebook group whose burning questions were crowdsourced from members across the globe.
Relaying these questions on the group’s behalf were Sílvia Vila Tarrés from Barcelona and James Hamill from the UK.