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.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.
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.
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.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.