I want the magical/mystical elements back.

Joined
Nov 23, 2019
actually seeing a physical manifestation of magic in what was, at the time, one of the most realistic video game worlds ever created was really quite jarring.
I always thought that was the entire point of Shenmue; to ground the classic epic hero's journey in a more realistic world so when I saw the floating sword at the end of S2 I couldn't wait to see what would happen next. I mean, as they're witnessing the floating sword they're also reading a note predicting that "one who holds the phoenix" would arrive days before he did, Ryo dreams about someone he's never met and then meets her, and we get a hint that Shenhua has supernatural powers.

But I think the ending to S2 was essentially meant to expedite certain parts of the story to give a more complete picture of what the story would ultimately be about.

Whilst its been somewhat confirmed that anything Shenmue Online related isn't canon to the overall Shenmue saga, I have to admit I have never believed that. The trailer was just far too on the nose for it not to be.
Totally agree. It's certainly possible that Shenmue was never meant to be as literal as the trailer makes it, but the clash between Shenhua and Lan Di as well as hints to her past lives and their relation to the prophecy are all obvious elements of the Shenmue story.
 
Joined
Sep 3, 2018
Favourite title
Shenmue
Currently playing
Strider (2014)
There is little I can contribute to this discussion, but if I remember correctly, in an interview Yu Suzuki stated that the ending in Shenmue II was due more to "natural" elements rather than magic. While there are many ways to interpret that, I think he was referring to the Chinese concept of Qi. As such, I have always envisioned Shenhua as a conduit for nature's energy similar to how The Force flows through a Jedi.

I never saw the ending of Shenmue II as jarring due to the amount of set-up we had in the narrative thus far. Shenmue Chapter One: Yokosuka starts with a prophecy, the Dragon and Phoenix mirrors, Ryo's mysterious dreams of Shenhua, and Chi-You. Shenmue II expanded on the prophecy, a bit about the mirrors, Shenhua lifting dandelions, both Ryo and Shenhua claiming they feel a spiritual presence from the Shenmue tree, Shenhua's line about how nature has incredible power, etc.

All these examples came before and were dovetailed subtly into the otherwise grounded narrative. So to me, the whole scene in the cave seemed like a natural progression. Remember, we still do not know the meaning of the prophecy, have a definitive answer to the purpose of the mirrors, the purpose of the Shenmue tree, or an explanation of how Shenhua's "powers" work.

In the end, I think Shenmue was always a low-fantasy series similar to Song of Fire and Ice, Berserk, or Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit. And I hope it continues to be that way as it makes the mystic elements more special when they do occur. In my mind, the mystical elements have always been there swirling around in the ether, and as long as they are written responsibly, I would welcome them back with open arms.
 
Joined
Jul 31, 2018
I've said it before and I'll say it again, the reason why the longing for Shenmue 3 was strong for me personally was 99% related to what we saw in Disc 4 of Shenmue 2, and most of that was condensed in the final scene itself. The mere existence of the mirrors always hinted at something supernatural, in my opinion, but nothing transpired until the very end of Shenmue 2, and it was done in such a genius way that it was completely shocking but did not feel out of place at all (imo). The fact that the first and most jaw-dropping scene with 'magic' (Shenhua with the dandelions) was entirely optional was so amazing to me, and I feel lucky I chose 'left' and saw it on my first playthrough, because it really floored me. The Shenmue tree, the sword, etc had me salivating for the next chapter in a way that the end of Shenmue 1 or Disc 3 of Shenmue 2 did not.

I was very disappointed with the decision not to explore any of this much further in Shenmue 3. The sword was basically retconned, and the Shenmue tree was apparently meaningless...I certainly hope that Shenmue 4 kicks the story into overdrive again. Never really understood the nay-sayers on the mysticism - we had almost two full games (and now a third if you count Shenmue 3) of realism that I think is still unmatched in any other video game. Time to let the story really flourish.
 

Hiki

その者、東の遠つ国より 海を渡りて現れり
Joined
Oct 27, 2019
Favourite title
Shenmue
Currently playing
Virtua Fighter 5 Ultimate Showdown (PS4)
Someone correct me if i'm wrong but i remember that in Shenmue II Ryo sensed that the Shenmue tree was protecting him and Shenhua, something like this, i really hope that the tree will be important in some way.

In the second game the Shenmue tree was a mystical element to me, in Shenmue III we didn't have that but maybe in the next chapters we will see more about the Shenmue tree, same thing about the mirrors, same thing about Shenhua, her powers and the prophecy.

Remember, we still do not know the meaning of the prophecy, have a definitive answer to the purpose of the mirrors, the purpose of the Shenmue tree, or an explanation of how Shenhua's "powers" work.

This is the reason why i prefer to see the next chapters before i can have a full opinion about all of this, if i will like it or not, some things we didn't saw in Shenmue III but that doesn't mean we'll never see them.

I really have a feeling that we will see another Shenmue tree, i just don't know where, maybe in Luoyang, maybe this is Louyang and here we will learn more about the Shenmue tree and Shenhua. I know a lot of things changed since this art, since the concept art and other things but i think the content that Yu Suzuki wrote at that time looks beautiful, i hope we can at least read it some day.

2.jpg

What i'm saying is that Shenmue is not complete, the story of Shenmue is not complete in game format, many things can happen, the mystical elements can appear in the future games, many things can be explained and much more.


Like i said in other threads, Shenmue III for me is a calm and peaceful time in Ryo's journey, i love the vibe and feeling of Shenmue III, and i think that Shenmue IV will have a lot of story and will be a intense game.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jul 21, 2020
Someone correct me if i'm wrong but i remember that in Shenmue II Ryo sensed that the Shenmue tree was protecting him and Shenhua, something like this, i really hope that the tree will be important in some way.

In the second game the Shenmue tree was a mystical element to me, in Shenmue III we didn't have that but maybe in the next chapters we will see more about the Shenmue tree, same thing about the mirrors, same thing about Shenhua, her powers and the prophecy.



This is the reason why i prefer to see the next chapters before i can have a full opinion about all of this, if i will like it or not, some things we didn't saw in Shenmue III but that doesn't mean we'll never see them.

I really have a feeling that we will see another Shenmue tree, i just don't know where, maybe in Louyang, maybe this is Louyang and here we will learn more about the Shenmue tree and Shenhua. I know a lot of things changed since this art, since the concept art and other things but i think the content that Yu Suzuki wrote at that time looks beautiful, i hope we can at least read it some day.

View attachment 12473

What i'm saying is that Shenmue is not complete, the story of Shenmue is not complete in game format, many things can happen, the mystical elements can appear in the future games, many things can be explained and much more.


Like i said in other threads, Shenmue III for me is a calm and peaceful time in Ryo's journey, i love the vibe and feeling of Shenmue III, and i think that Shenmue IV will have a lot of story and will be a intense game.
I guess another 'Shenmue tree' is the cherry blossom tree, at least spirtually, it has a secret and why the Dragon Mirror was buried there. Ryo may have to return home to learn a hidden truth and the story goes full circle.
 

Hiki

その者、東の遠つ国より 海を渡りて現れり
Joined
Oct 27, 2019
Favourite title
Shenmue
Currently playing
Virtua Fighter 5 Ultimate Showdown (PS4)
I guess the second 'Shenmue tree' is the cherry blossom tree, at least spirtually, it has a secret and why the Dragon Mirror was buried there. Ryo may have to return home to learn a hidden truth and the story goes full circle.
I said Luoyang because of the flashback scene in Shenmue II, i think this place is not Bailu Village, i'm not sure where is this place, my guess is Luoyang but maybe i'm wrong.



About what you said i was thinking about something similar today, i was thinking about the tree in Hazuki Residence.

What you wrote is interesting, it will be interesting to see Ryo returning to Yokosuka, if he return i think it will be in the last game.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jul 21, 2020
I said Luoyang because of the flashback scene in Shenmue II, i think this place is not Bailu Village, i'm not sure where is this place, my guess is Luoyang but maybe i'm wrong.



About what you said i was thinking about this today, i thought this... "What if the tree in Hazuki Residence is not a cherry Blossom tree? maybe it's a Shenmue tree and Iwao Hazuki brought it from China"

What you wrote is interesting, it will be interesting to see Ryo returning to Yokosuka, if he return i think it will be in the last game.
I think Shenhua basically confirms in 3 in a night conversation that's a vivid dream from Luoyang in the distance past and another life.


I guess Shenhua is meant to die, ascend to the stars, and be reborn anew one day.
 

Hiki

その者、東の遠つ国より 海を渡りて現れり
Joined
Oct 27, 2019
Favourite title
Shenmue
Currently playing
Virtua Fighter 5 Ultimate Showdown (PS4)
I think Shenhua basically confirms in 3 in a night conversation that's a vivid dream from Luoyang in the distance past and another life.


I guess Shenhua is meant to die, ascend to the stars, and be reborn anew one day.

Oh, i think i saw this scene when i played Shenmue III, i didn't remember, this place is Luoyang then in my opinion, thanks for sharing.

The flashback scene in Shenmue II we can see another Shenmue tree, i really think Ryo and Shenhua will go to Luoyang and there we will learn a lot of things about the story.

Your theory about Shenhua dying makes sense, i don't think Shenhua will die but there is a possibility that this can happen

This is the last chapter in the concept art and we can clearly see that she is alive and she is near Xiuying.

I know a lot of things changed since the concept art but i'm just imagining, i love imagine what will happen in the next chapters.

Concept Art.jpg
 
Last edited:

Sergeynest

Keep your Mind as clear as a Polished Mirror.
Joined
Jan 5, 2019
Location
Portugal
Favourite title
Shenmue II
Currently playing
GUJIAN 3
I believe that Shenhua's dreams about Luoyang and her "Parents" and also the fact that she mentions that she feels like she has lived a thousand birthdays has to do with her connection with the Shenmue Tree.
Trees have always been seen in many cultures around the world has symbols of longevity; they can live for thousands of years; spanning multiple generations of families and they also symbolize a link between the Past, the present and the future.
The fact Shenhua and her familie have such a strong connection with the Shenmue Tree makes me believe that there is a special link between them and because of the fact that the Shenmue Tree has lived for thousands of years grants Shenhua the ability to recall memories from her ancestors.
The Shenmue Tree or Trees are like a transmitter and Shenhua the antena that captures their signal.
 
Joined
Jul 21, 2020
Oh, i think i saw this scene when i played Shenmue III, i didn't remember, this place is Louyang then in my opinion, thanks for sharing.

The flashback scene in Shenmue II we can see another Shenmue tree, i really think Ryo and Shenhua will go to Luoyang and there we will learn a lot of things about the story.

Your theory about Shenhua dying makes sense but i don't think Shenhua will die.

This is the last chapter in the concept art and we can clearly see that she is alive and she is near Xiuying.

I know a lot of things changed since the concept art but i'm just imagining, i love imagine what will happen in the next chapters.

View attachment 12474
Yuan says plenty of foreboding things about Shenhua, noticeably he writes on the Ema "I prey for her health, until that day comes" and I believe Shenhua's fate is foreshadowed by the North Star glistening in II. Shenhua also has a book about the stars and the fates of people. I believe the north star will glisten for her, near the end of the journey, but perhaps Ryo is able to avert her fate, like you may suggest, by making a wish, such as what the antique woman, Xi Yu Xia says.
 
Joined
Jul 28, 2018
The Shenmue Tree or Trees are like a transmitter and Shenhua the antena that captures their signal.
In S3 Shenhua says "the tree protects me", when referring to the cherry blossom Iwao practiced under. It could be the connection with her ancestors that makes her feel this way. Could be that the trees are more of a metaphorical connection to the distant past, though, rather than a literal, magical connection, but either way, I think there's some significance to them we don't yet truly know about.
 

Sergeynest

Keep your Mind as clear as a Polished Mirror.
Joined
Jan 5, 2019
Location
Portugal
Favourite title
Shenmue II
Currently playing
GUJIAN 3
In S3 Shenhua says "the tree protects me", when referring to the cherry blossom Iwao practiced under. It could be the connection with her ancestors that makes her feel this way. Could be that the trees are more of a metaphorical connection to the distant past, though, rather than a literal, magical connection, but either way, I think there's some significance to them we don't yet truly know about.
I also agree with your vision and Shenmue 3 could have been a great way to explore and explain little bit more the link between Shenhua and the Shenmue Tree.
I believe that there is some sort of spiritual connection between Shenhua and the Shenmue Tree as it was described in Shenmue 2; one that Ryo also mentioned to feel.
In fact it is in the exact same tree where Shenhua says she feels protected that Ryo has the flashback of Iwao Hazuki.
Shenmue Tree Iwao.jpg
Since Iwao also trained under that tree; he could also have made some sort of spiritual connection through is martial arts training; that could be a reason why Ryo also felt a spiritual connection with the Shenmue Tree.
A good example of what I was trying to explain in my previous post is the Tree of Voices from the Avatar movie.

But instead of having a physical connection "Cable" like the alien race from the movie; Shenhua has a Spiritual one "Wi-Fi" that allows her to have memories of her ancestors.
 
Joined
Aug 26, 2018
Location
Spain
I've made peace with my impression that, at the end of the day, there will never be a main canon "trunk" of the Shenmue story for us all to coincide on.

There will be three different "timelines":

  • The original VF RPG concept
  • The "main" Shenmue I&II storyline, which I'm sure was refined from that first draft, but also looks like it was a bit "bloated" with accessory "FREE"/slice of life elements (which I love, by the way)
  • The Shenmue III + possible sequels, which I'm also sure is heavily compromised by a lot of factors (budget, Kickstarter structure, change of staff, Yu having forgotten things and/or wanting to please supposed fan demands, etc.)
At the end of the day I'd love to end up knowing all three. I have hope the original VF RPGs might be public some day. For the third one I'll be there always, but with my expectations in check. And I've already made peace with the fact we will never get the second one, which would have been the best, and was the one that hooked most of us to the series.

My personal preference would be for the supernatural elements to be there, but restricted and "intimate". In particular, it would be nice if those elements would become the trunk of Shenhua's storyline only. Keeping Ryo focused on his personal overcoming of grief and revenge desires through Kung Fu, new friends, an tracing through his father footsteps.
 
Joined
Jul 21, 2020
I also agree with your vision and Shenmue 3 could have been a great way to explore and explain little bit more the link between Shenhua and the Shenmue Tree.
I believe that there is some sort of spiritual connection between Shenhua and the Shenmue Tree as it was described in Shenmue 2; one that Ryo also mentioned to feel.
In fact it is in the exact same tree where Shenhua says she feels protected that Ryo has the flashback of Iwao Hazuki.
View attachment 12489
Since Iwao also trained under that tree; he could also have made some sort of spiritual connection through is martial arts training; that could be a reason why Ryo also felt a spiritual connection with the Shenmue Tree.
A good example of what I was trying to explain in my previous post is the Tree of Voices from the Avatar movie.

But instead of having a physical connection "Cable" like the alien race from the movie; Shenhua has a Spiritual one "Wi-Fi" that allows her to have memories of her ancestors.
Could Ryo's dreams of Shenhua from S1 be connected to the cherry blossom tree? It may have some special power too. The first scene with the Shenmue tree in II, Ryo compares it to the cherry tree, and the other tree at Tetiary Spring has a flashback to the same tree.

Perhaps Iwao met Shenhua's mother or father. An aura slept within the white leaf, and they were able to dowse the cherry tree with the same power. In the end it didn't protect the Dragon Mirror but was able to reach Ryo in the form of dreams.
 
Joined
Nov 23, 2019
I've made peace with my impression that, at the end of the day, there will never be a main canon "trunk" of the Shenmue story for us all to coincide on.

There will be three different "timelines":

  • The original VF RPG concept
  • The "main" Shenmue I&II storyline, which I'm sure was refined from that first draft, but also looks like it was a bit "bloated" with accessory "FREE"/slice of life elements (which I love, by the way)
  • The Shenmue III + possible sequels, which I'm also sure is heavily compromised by a lot of factors (budget, Kickstarter structure, change of staff, Yu having forgotten things and/or wanting to please supposed fan demands, etc.)
At the end of the day I'd love to end up knowing all three. I have hope the original VF RPGs might be public some day. For the third one I'll be there always, but with my expectations in check. And I've already made peace with the fact we will never get the second one, which would have been the best, and was the one that hooked most of us to the series.

My personal preference would be for the supernatural elements to be there, but restricted and "intimate". In particular, it would be nice if those elements would become the trunk of Shenhua's storyline only. Keeping Ryo focused on his personal overcoming of grief and revenge desires through Kung Fu, new friends, an tracing through his father footsteps.
Another timeline would be the anime. It's very possible that we might see the ending to the story in that form before we see it in game form (assuming either even makes it that far). The anime in general might be very telling about how "supernatural" the story was meant to be.
 

Sergeynest

Keep your Mind as clear as a Polished Mirror.
Joined
Jan 5, 2019
Location
Portugal
Favourite title
Shenmue II
Currently playing
GUJIAN 3
Could Ryo's dreams of Shenhua from S1 be connected to the cherry blossom tree? It may have some special power too. The first scene with the Shenmue tree in II, Ryo compares it to the cherry tree, and the other tree at Tetiary Spring has a flashback to the same tree.

Perhaps Iwao met Shenhua's mother or father. An aura slept within the white leaf, and they were able to dowse the cherry tree with the same power. In the end it didn't protect the Dragon Mirror but was able to reach Ryo in the form of dreams.
I believe there is some dialogue between Shenhua and Ryo at the end of Shenmue 2 where Ryo tells Shenhua that he also has a Cherry Blossom Tree in his house to wich he also has a special bond with.
There could be also a connection between Ryo and Shenhua to the Mirrors that we still don't know yet besides the prophecy from Bailu Village; because when Ryo finds the Phoenix Mirror; there is a cutscene where he tells Fukusan that he can feel the Mirror pulling him in; a feeling that he can't explain.
Maybe there is more of a connection between Ryo's dreams of Shenhua because of the Mirrors that are linked to the prophecy than with the Shenmue Tree; but it wouldn't surprise me if it was all connected.
Either way if Shenmue 4 will be the final game or even if we get a Shenmue 5; they will have to start answering all of these questions and much more.
 
Last edited:

Sergeynest

Keep your Mind as clear as a Polished Mirror.
Joined
Jan 5, 2019
Location
Portugal
Favourite title
Shenmue II
Currently playing
GUJIAN 3
Another timeline would be the anime. It's very possible that we might see the ending to the story in that form before we see it in game form (assuming either even makes it that far). The anime in general might be very telling about how "supernatural" the story was meant to be.
No I dont want that..gif

I really wouldn't want that to happen at least if we are going to get Shenmue 4 or 5 has a game.
The best scenario in my opinion would be for them to launch the Anime covering Shenmue 1 & 2 and then announce Shenmue 4; after launching Shenmue 4; they would make the Anime covering Shenmue 3 where they could expand more on the Story of Iwao, the Shenmue Tree and perhaps even the Mirrors.
Then they could cover the events of Shenmue 4 in the Anime after the game came out for about a year or so; regardless if it is the final game in the series or not.
If we end up having a Shenmue 5 they should cover the Anime the same way I mentioned for Shenmue 4.
 
Top