At what point was Miao Village in Shenmue II? Is it Bailu Village?

Joined
Mar 31, 2022
In light of the recent prototype that was on auction, I've been looking back at any info we have on the cut "Bailu Village" area, mostly to temper expectations that this area would still be on a build dated three months before the final build. A couple things confuse me about the shots we have of this cut area.

First, does anyone know or remember when all of the shots are from? There doesn't seem to be any source for all but the one pic of what people assume is Miao Guang Temple.

Capture.PNG

I used archive.org's Wayback Machine to find some preview pages for the game on that site, but nothing there seems to be where this shot came from.

The other shots of the lost village area that you can find online don't have this watermark on it for tvg, so I'm assuming they came from somewhere else. But where? This seems to be lost information at this point unless someone here has any memory. As a side note, any old shots on their site that do load within the year 2001 (which that auctioned proto is dated) don't use that same style of their logo watermark, so I'm guessing the shots are from 2000 at the latest.

I'm also confused why this area seems to get called Bailu Village while also referred to as Miao Village based on the lost loading cards found in the game data. If anything this seems like it was an area that extended from Langhuishan Village probably before meeting Shenhua, going by the geographical features of the area matching that look. Anything past Shenhua's house in the Bailu area wasn't as plain a field as seen in those shots, so I have doubts it's a cut area that was meant to be explored after Shenhua's house.

I'm guessing what happened is people took to calling it Bailu Village out of some sort of knowledge of where Ryo was supposed to go after the cave that ends Shenmue 2, and then years later it turns out the lost area has a name that we get from those loading screens. But the habit is stuck and it still just gets referred to as Bailu Village. Does this sound like a good guess?

I'd love to hear any thoughts!
 

Peter

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From what I remember, Miao Village, and it's subsequent temple, was not related to Bailu Village, or even Guilin at all. It was a small rural area set on the outskirts of Hong Kong, and would have been accessible early on in the game. Specifically when looking for the Wulinshu and Yuanda Zhu, around the time you visit Wise Men's Kung Fu. That segment was to extend to Miao Village, where people train to become martial arts experts (as seen in the photos)., and you would ask for clues there.

The dead end of South Carmain Quarter would have led you to the village, with another road connecting to the strip outside Man Mo Temple. You can see in early videos of Ryo and Wong outside the temple, that there is no dead end there, and the road continues on. This created the looping link between the areas, which essentially expanded that section of the game by a little bit.

It was cut in the end, I assume since it was a bit of a stretch that such a quiet, rural area being a stones throw from the major city, and was a little implausible. Plus, it's a good bit of scenery to just have tagged onto the side of Hong Kong, when it could be repackaged to purpose as a standalone area. It's clear that Bailu Village in Shenmue 3 takes a lot of its architecture from this area. That's what Yu Suzuki means by the cool thing about the Shenmue saga being split into chapters, and that things can be moved about and repackaged to suit the story.
 

Switch

Shenmue analysis at www.phantomriverstone.com
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First, does anyone know or remember when all of the shots are from? There doesn't seem to be any source for all but the one pic of what people assume is Miao Guang Temple.
They were released by the developers through the Muecas page of Shenmue.com in June 2002 (link).

As it happens I'm actually working on some blog posts that revisit this topic at the moment, to pull together clues that have been discovered over the years, interview comments and other relevant information to be found. The first part is almost ready so I'll drop a link here too once it's up.
You can see in early videos of Ryo and Wong outside the temple, that there is no dead end there, and the road continues on. This created the looping link between the areas, which essentially expanded that section of the game by a little bit.
That's very interesting, I wasn't aware of a planned route from outside Man Mo Temple.
 
Joined
Aug 19, 2018
Damn, I didn't know that either. Very interesting.

There's an image of Ryo holding a book and talking to an old man, is this supposed to be in Bailu or Miao village? I've heard conflicting stories about this. I heard in the past that Ryo is asking where Yuan is in the dialogue between him and the old man, others say he's just asking about the book. If it's the latter, I wonder if the book is Wulinshu and the quest would have taken Ryo to this village to find out more.
 
Joined
Aug 19, 2018
Amazing, just when you think you know everything new information comes out. I actually thought the Miao Village section was somewhere in between Langhuishan Village and Guilin and didn’t know it was meant earlier during the HK section.

Fascinating can’t wait to read the @Switch article when it comes out.

That's what Yu Suzuki means by the cool thing about the Shenmue saga being split into chapters, and that things can be moved about and repackaged to suit the story.
That’s a great point. Makes you wonder what else has been repackaged or altered for a different setting.
 
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the_phoenix_mirror

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I have the three images of Ryo and the old man talking. I know Switch can translate them, but anyone else can translate them if they want too. Don't bother with stuff like google translate and that such though.

no29_pic_07.jpgno29_pic_08.jpgno29_pic_09.jpg

Edit: I've also noticed before that the wooden dummies are doing the body check move it seems from Shenmue III.
 
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OP
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Great responses so far.

I never would have imagined that grassy plain being outside of Hong Kong. In that context I can somewhat understand cutting it for space since it sounds unnatural for its location and if they were desperate to cut something for time and space reasons. Looking forward to Switch's post about all of this.

Here's hoping that proto has some of this content in it 🙏
 

24Nathan

Joined: Fri Apr 09, 2004 11:13 pm
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From what I remember, Miao Village, and it's subsequent temple, was not related to Bailu Village, or even Guilin at all. It was a small rural area set on the outskirts of Hong Kong, and would have been accessible early on in the game. Specifically when looking for the Wulinshu and Yuanda Zhu, around the time you visit Wise Men's Kung Fu. That segment was to extend to Miao Village, where people train to become martial arts experts (as seen in the photos)., and you would ask for clues there.

The dead end of South Carmain Quarter would have led you to the village, with another road connecting to the strip outside Man Mo Temple. You can see in early videos of Ryo and Wong outside the temple, that there is no dead end there, and the road continues on. This created the looping link between the areas, which essentially expanded that section of the game by a little bit.

It was cut in the end, I assume since it was a bit of a stretch that such a quiet, rural area being a stones throw from the major city, and was a little implausible. Plus, it's a good bit of scenery to just have tagged onto the side of Hong Kong, when it could be repackaged to purpose as a standalone area. It's clear that Bailu Village in Shenmue 3 takes a lot of its architecture from this area. That's what Yu Suzuki means by the cool thing about the Shenmue saga being split into chapters, and that things can be moved about and repackaged to suit the story.
I've never heard of that. The other pictures from Muecas 29 with the girl from Sunny Capital Pharmacy were from the dead end in South Carmain Quarter, though. Are you thinking that would lead to this fenced area here?



1648884058966.png

I have a document with more post screenshots about Kiyuu talking about this. Here's one with a translation of the scenes with the old man:

1648884106875.png

She also states that the book is not the Wulinshu.
 
Joined
Aug 2, 2018
I don't know if they are the same place, but what it is sure is that Miao and Bailu village have some things in common, like the wood tower, people training or that wood structure like a clotheshorse:
bailu-village.jpg

Bailuvillage.jpg


Bailuvillage2.jpg
 
Joined
Aug 19, 2018
I've just posted up Part One of the analysis post series, starting with the village screenshots. No detail is too small to speculate on! :D

The Secret of Miao Village: Part One
https://www.phantomriverstone.com/2022/04/the-secret-of-miao-village-analysis-of.html

View attachment 14816

Absolutely amazing research here and being able to identify some of those characters! I thought I knew about Miao Village but from Peters recent post I am looking forward to part 2.

Ps. The link is dead/incorrect @Switch
 

24Nathan

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~ ヒキ ~

このまま・・・時間が止まるといい
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I've just posted up Part One of the analysis post series, starting with the village screenshots. No detail is too small to speculate on! :D

The Secret of Miao Village: Part One
https://www.phantomriverstone.com/2022/04/the-secret-of-miao-village-analysis-of.html

View attachment 14816

When i first saw these images i really thought that it was Bailu Village Dreamcast version, but now it makes sense that maybe Miao Village was a village near Hong Kong. Like Nathan said really nice to have some context given to the village, to learn more about the objects and characters in the images.

In my opinion i think that Yu Suzuki and the team used some ideas of that time to create Bailu Village in Shenmue III, some things looks really similar to Bailu, especially in this photo. This place looks really similar to the abandoned temple where Master Sun stays in Shenmue III, and i thought the character talking with Ryo in the other image was Master Sun but now i don't know.

1649810529309.png


I saw that Miao Village really exist in China and that even the clothes in the Village have things in common with some Shenhua's clothes

1649810996153.png1649811347301.png7.jpgbox_shenmue_ost.jpg1649814181112.png

I don't know if Yu Suzuki went to Miao Village but i think Yu-san got the inspiration for these things for Shenhua in Miao Village, it is so interesting, it is sad that we didn't got the chance to experience Miao Village in the game, i hope one day we can get acess to the location, would be so nice.

So many details that i learned with this analysis, beautiful analysis, i'm looking forward for part two, Thanks Switch.

To end my post i want to share a beautiful video of Miao Village, it is a long video but i recommend to everyone that want to learn more about the real Miao Village in China, it is really interesting and beautiful.

 
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Switch

Shenmue analysis at www.phantomriverstone.com
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In my opinion i think that Yu Suzuki and the team used some ideas of that time to create Bailu Village in Shenmue III, some things looks really similar to Bailu, especially in this photo. This place looks really similar to the abandoned temple where Master Sun stays in Shenmue III, and i thought the character talking with Ryo in the other image was Master Sun but now i don't know.
I agree, there are very strong similarities between these screenshots and areas of Shenmue 3's Bailu Village. It's nice to know that the team's research and designs did not go to waste and they were able to be put to use after all. I'm planning to do some pictorial comparisons between them in the last post of the series. Also, even within Shenmue 2, there are some indications that some of the elements found their way into the creation of Shenhua's house.

To end my post i want to share a beautiful video of Miao Village, it is a long video but i recommend to everyone that want to learn more about the real Miao Village in China, it is really interesting and beautiful.
Thank you for sharing!
 

Switch

Shenmue analysis at www.phantomriverstone.com
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spud1897

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Part Two of our 7-part deep-dive analysis of the "Miao Village" screenshots cut from #Shenmue 2. The village was unfortunately removed before the game was released - but not all of it!

[Part Two] The Secret of Miao Village: Content Left Behind
https://www.phantomriverstone.com/2022/04/part-two-secret-of-miao-village-content.html

View attachment 14892
Really interesting read. Didn't realise this stuff ended up in the YH building.... looking forward to the next one.
 

Switch

Shenmue analysis at www.phantomriverstone.com
Joined
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Really interesting read. Didn't realise this stuff ended up in the YH building.... looking forward to the next one.
I hadn't connected that area to the village before either - had just thought of it as a gloomy, creepy place really. The models look a lot different out in the sunlight where you can see them properly.
 
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