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Yu Suzuki Discusses Shenmue's Story

Creator wants to tell full Shenmue saga at some point.


Wondering what happens in the Shenmue saga following Shenmue II? You may get a chance to find out through some combination of Shenmue City and maybe even future Shenmue productions.

Sunsoft held a press briefing earlier today to take the full veil off Shenmue City, a social browser game that's set to hit Mobagetown and Yahoo! Mobage this Winter. As reported at ITmedia, during a Q&A session following the briefing, series creator Yu Suzuki provided some hints at how we might get to experience the rest of the story.

Suzuki introduces Shenmue City at today's press conference.

One of the first questions concerned how Shenmue City will incorporate new story elements. "Shenmue itself is an incomplete work," said Suzuki. "There is a story post Shenmue II. While I can't make any promises at present, if Shenmue City is loved by users, and if service for the game continues, I believe we'll be able to deliver those through version ups and so forth."

While this response appears to apply to new story elements in Shenmue City itself, Suzuki was later asked by ITmedia's own reporter if he plans on completing the Shenmue series. Replied Suzuki, "The feeling of incompleteness is something that I feel strongest. If I have a chance to do it, I'd like to realize this for fans, regardless of what form it takes." Further projects could be dependent on the success of Shenmue City. Continued Suzuki, "If service continues, I believe we'll be able to share [the rest of the story] at some point in some form."

ITmedia's question made mention of the Shenmue story having "16 scenarios." Suzuki corrected them, saying that it's actually 11 scenarios.

Fujioka appears at the press conference.

Following the Q&A session, actor and martial artist Hiroshi Fujioka took the stage for a joint talk session with Suzuki. Fujioka was the voice actor for Shenmue's Iwao Hazuki, father of main character Ryo Hazuki. He will also be recognizable to Sega fans as Segata Sanshiro, an image character Sega used to promote the Sega Saturn.

Outside of his voice acting work, it also appears that Fujioka did the motion capture for Shenmue. Recalling his work, Fujioka said, "When you walk with balls attached all over your body, the characters move the exact same way. This is a matter of fact now, but at the time I thought it was amazing."

Suzuki explained his choice in selecting Fujioka. "To bring reality to the game, I wanted to use a real martial artist." He felt that Fujioka, who had a dojo in his home and a deep understanding of martial arts, would fit this role perfectly.

In a closing message, Fujioka commented on Shenmue City itself, saying that he hopes children will be able to use it as a tool for learning more about Japanese martial arts.

Shenmue City was, of course, the big topic at the event. Check back shortly for a more complete look at the game based off Suzuki's presentation at today's press conference. For screens of the game, see Impress Watch.

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