Shenmue III predictions (15+ years in the making)

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This is my first post.

However, I have "lurked" in Shenmue Dojo since I first completed Shenmue II back in 2003.

Like a lot of you, for the 15+ years, I have periodically searched "Shenmue 3" into Google and was elated when this project was announced a few years ago. Shenmue I and II were an important part of my formative experience as a young man. I know this may sound strange to some, but I feel like Ryo's journey -- both his "external" journey through Yokosuka, Hong Kong, and Guilin, and his "internal" journey as he grows -- were my own as well, and I feel as if a part of me has been waiting in that cave with Ryo and Shenhua for more than 15 years. I still can't believe that Shenmue III is just a few months away and that our journey can finally continue.

What's going to happen next?

This is something I have pondered for a long time.

Now that Shenmue III is so close, I wanted to post my thoughts online. Not so that I can be proven right, but because I think it will be interesting to go back and read this after I have completed Shenmue III and reflect on how it compared with my expectations.

I've created this new user account specifically for that purpose. I hope this is posed to the correct section, and that I am not contravening any rules by posting this here.

* * *

In no particular order, here are my predictions for Shenmue III:

[1] Ryo will transcend his quest for revenge.

He'll come to realise that his father (and now himself, Shenhua, his growing army of followers) are part of a much bigger story. His father died for something that he believed was bigger than himself or his family. Ryo will come to appreciate this. As he matures through Shenmue III, finding answers will become more important than revenge.

This will also happen with Ren. We saw a glimpse of this at the top of the Yellow Head building: Ryo turned his back on Lan Di's departing helicopter, and was the closest he had ever come to giving up; but Ren put his hand on Ryo's shoulder, urged him not to give up, and Ryo turned back to face Lan Di and watch him depart toward Guilin. Ren's motivation will transcend riches. He, along with Ryo and others, will be drawn into a struggle between good and evil.


[2] Ryo's "power" (mentioned in the prophecy) will be revealed. But it isn't Kung Fu.

It's DETERMINATION, which he will learn to channel into leadership.

All through the first two games, Ryo has met allies, often older and wiser, who tried to dissuade him from his quest, notably Master Chen and Xiuying Hong. We get the sense that Ryo learned from these masters, and left their “orbit” with valuable wisdom. However, what we also see is that Ryo seems to have awakened something in them too. Chen, initially, felt that Ryo was a fool and was reluctant to help him. By the end of Shenmue I, he decides to send his only son to continue the quest by his side. Xiuying too seems to have been stirred by Ryo, and secretly follows him throughout Shenmue II, helping him to progress on his quest.

Despite Ryo’s general lone wolf nature and reserved demeanour, he seems to have inspired Master Chen, his Guizhang, Xiuying, Zhu Yuanda, Joy, Wong, Ren, and others to join his quest.

I see this theme continuing in Shenmue III.

As Ryo meets and learns from wise martial arts masters, elders, and perhaps other gangsters, he will continue to inspire and build his army of “friends, those you love”.


[3] Lan Di will try to recruit Ryo.

This is why Lan Di spared him at the top of the Yellow Head building: he sees in Ryo the same determination that he too possesses and recognizes that Ryo is, in a sense, a kindred spirit. This is the meaning of the part of the prophecy that says, “the strength that would destroy him”.

We know that the Chi You Men look for promising martial artists to recruit.

Lan Di will try to recruit Ryo. This is the context of their meeting in that building. Ryo will have the opportunity to fight Lan Di, and Lan Di will be more powerful. However, Lan Di will also hold back somewhat, while being impressed with Ryo’s fighting ability.

Related to this: Ryo will develop a more nuanced picture of who Lan Di is, and what motivated him to join the Chi You Men, travel to Japan, and, ultimately, kill Ryo’s father. This will contribute to Ryo’s transcending his quest for vengeance, or stepping into his role as a leader.


[4] “Keep friends, those you love, close to you…”

These were Iwao’s final words to Ryo, which he had to struggle to utter. He chose them wisely.

They will prove to be the theme of the entire series.

At some point, Ryo might have to choose between revenge and keeping his friends and those he loves close to him. He will come to a metaphorical and/or actual fork in the road, and will face a simple dichotomy:

Does he avenge his father’s death, and ignore his father’s dying words to him?

Or, does he heed them, realizing that taking to heart his father’s final lesson to him is a more fitting way to honour him that to murder his father’s killer?

Yu Suzuki may even give us this very choice as players. Perhaps, if we select the option for revenge, we are presented with a “game over” screen indicating that revenge is one of the bad endings.


[5] Shenmue tree

It is symbolic. This tree is ancient, perhaps even eternal, just as the struggle between good and evil is eternal. This is something Iwao learned in China, and he took a leaf from the Shenmue tree back to his home in Japan as a memento of this important lesson. Good will never completely triumph over evil. It is a struggle that must continue until the end of time.

This theme may show up in a more tangible form:

Ryo may succeed in helping Xiuying’s brother, and perhaps Lan Di, find redemption. His strength that I mentioned above may so powerful, he is able to do that. However, the “main boss” of the Chi You Men escapes, for another generation to face and struggle against.
 
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Welcome! This was a prudent thread choice; I think many of us were posting our predictions in the Random Shenmue III Thoughts thread, so you were smart to separate this.

I think what you've presented makes a good amount of sense, especially Lan Di trying to recruit Ryo-- that's a great explanation for why he'd be willing to fight Ryo though spare his life. I hadn't thought of that option.

That said, I'd challenge one thing and add another:

-First, I don't think he'll give up his quest for revenge just yet. If this covers only 40% of the story (according to YS), I have a feeling there's more revenge based plot, albeit in a different manner (taking down the other Chi You bosses, even if not Lan Di, etc.) It's hard to see him going around China for a game or two more otherwise, though perhaps it's more in a "defeat the Chi You to stop this mirror quest once and for all" manner. In that sense, you may be right.

Second, I'm one of a few 'round here who think Ren will either sacrifice himself or be killed in III. You note that he's in it for the money/greed. What stands out to me is that Ren is a capable fighter, but not a strong one: he relies on tricks, switch blades, etc. If Ryo is getting whooped in III, Ren stands little chance. To that end, I'd think he'll either die trying to fuel his greed, or perhaps sacrifice himself for Ryo, redeeming himself.
 
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My prediction is similar to one of yours, in that Lan Di has taken interest in Ryo's potential and will try to recruit him. Ryo will fight Lan Di at the end of 3 and will most likely lose to him, but Lan Di will spare his life and offer him a rematch on one condition -- that he help him eliminate the other Chi You Men leaders so that he could take over the organization as its sole leader.
 
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Welcome aboard...in my short time here, this place has been pretty welcoming and accommodating...so I hope you have the same experience :)

Great idea for a thread.

I'm gonna make two bold predictions.

1.) What if Shenmue III turns out to be the end? What if Yu is actually misleading us all and crams the rest of the story into Shenmue III?

or

2.) What if Ren betrays Ryo? When you really think about it, Ren is simply tagging along because he thinks there is money involved in this whole thing. Would it really be out of character for him to do a heel turn and join Lan Di and the Chi You Men betraying Ryo?


My prediction is similar to one of yours, in that Lan Di has taken interest in Ryo's potential and will try to recruit him. Ryo will fight Lan Di at the end of 3 and will most likely lose to him, but Lan Di will spare his life and offer him a rematch on one condition -- that he help him eliminate the other Chi You Men leaders so that he could take over the organization as its sole leader.

This idea ain't too bad and it does give the series somewhere to go after III. But at the same time, does Lan Di really care about Ryo? He wants the second mirror, does he not? Ryo has the second mirror...all he really needs to do is take the mirror and leave Ryo to be buried next to his father.

Which is sort of my big question at the moment...where is this series going? We know Ryo wants vengeance and we know Lan Di wants the second mirror, but we also know there is a prophecy behind the mirror that is greater than all players (besides maybe Shenhua) know. So if Ryo and Lan Di meet in III then where does the series go? If Lan Di kicks Ryo's ass in III then all he has to do is take the mirror and leave Ryo for dead. (assuming Ryo has the mirror on him at all times)

I forsee one of two things. Either Ren will sacrifice himself to protect Ryo from being killed....or (and the one I think is very much a possibility) Ren will BETRAY Ryo, hand Lan Di the mirror and then the race begins to hunt down Lan Di before whatever happens with the mirrors plays its course.

I don't know...I still think Ren will betray Ryo...just for the fact that he is only in it for the money. He knows how dangerous Lan Di and the Chi You Men are...is it really out of the question for Ren to be a Judas? Especially if Lan Di offers Ren a deal he can't refuse?

So my personal prediction is this game will be the Empire Strikes Back of the series and will end with Ren betraying Ryo...Ryo will be battered and bruised and Lan Di will (potentially) have the second mirror and then we have somewhere to go with Shenmue IV.

Or I could be entirely wrong in my prediction.

No matter what happens though...it's gonna be exciting as all hell to see where the actual game takes us. :)
 
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Ryo's destiny probably is taking the whole Chiyoumen down,. We will most likely learn why Iwao was killed and Ryo will realize that fighting Lan Di is only a small part of his task.

The theory of Ryo and Lan Di teaming up to take down the other four Chiyoumen leaders may seem outlandish at first glance but it is quite intriguing the more you think about it.
 
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Thanks for the welcome, everyone.

There are some great thoughts here. Especially about Ren.

I, for one, believe that Ren is one of the good guys. Mostly, on account of his friendships with Joy and Wong. He is like a brother to them. That said, I can totally see him sacrificing himself in III. It would also raise the stakes somewhat.

Also, over the last few days, another thought came to mind that I wanted to share. This is one that I find particularly intriguing.

In some of the Shenmue promo images, we see Shenhua dressed in imperial costume. We also, through various flashbacks and discussions about things in her home, get the sense that she is somehow connected to an old imperial dynasty. One that has since disappeared.

We also do not know who her parents are.

I suspect that Shenhua is a princess. Her parents were either killed or arranged for her to be raised in secret, in order to protect her.

In Shenmue I, we learned from Master Chen that the mirrors, if brought together, would resurrect an ancient dynasty. Yet, we also learned that if they are brought together, they seem to resurrect the Chi You.

Perhaps both of these are true.
 

That Guy.

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Thanks for the welcome, everyone.

There are some great thoughts here. Especially about Ren.

I, for one, believe that Ren is one of the good guys. Mostly, on account of his friendships with Joy and Wong. He is like a brother to them. That said, I can totally see him sacrificing himself in III. It would also raise the stakes somewhat.

Also, over the last few days, another thought came to mind that I wanted to share. This is one that I find particularly intriguing.

In some of the Shenmue promo images, we see Shenhua dressed in imperial costume. We also, through various flashbacks and discussions about things in her home, get the sense that she is somehow connected to an old imperial dynasty. One that has since disappeared.

We also do not know who her parents are.

I suspect that Shenhua is a princess. Her parents were either killed or arranged for her to be raised in secret, in order to protect her.

In Shenmue I, we learned from Master Chen that the mirrors, if brought together, would resurrect an ancient dynasty. Yet, we also learned that if they are brought together, they seem to resurrect the Chi You.

Perhaps both of these are true.

I was always thinking that she has connections to a bloodline who are tied to the mirrors. Ryo maybe as well perhaps due to having a shared destiny and all. Could be an ancestral connection indeed.
 
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Maybe we will find out that iwao actually didn't kill lan di's father and ryo will learn about it and confront lan di and telling him he killed someone innocent maybe even good friend of his own father making lan di switch sides slowly
 

xatruio

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Pretty sure it has always been alluded to Shenhua having relation to the mirrors through the man who raised her being apart of a family of loyal artistic laborers for cultivating phantom river stone.

Could jump to conclusion of the man who raised her being an uncle; thus, keeps the family tradition and work he was continuing--presumably--from his father and grandfather on the giant cave mirrors. Would also fit into theory of the mirrors resurrecting an old imperial dynasty she is a direct ancestor from, but I'm not holding my breath, either. More confident she happened to be adopted by the river stone carving family with her bloodline having historical significance, yet not imperial.
 

Shenmue

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I miss threads like this in this forum. Great first post, my friend, and your predictions mirror mine, though I think, as smk said, that we'll learn that Iwao never killed Lan Di's own father. Possibilities are endless so I can't wait for Shenmue 3 to actually come out!
 

Peter

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I have absolutely no info to base this worry on, so please don't read into it, but I guess it's just a paranoia I have that we wont get much progression with the story. That its just go here for info, then go there for the same info, then go to this place... for the same info. I'm being silly, I know.

Of course I hope I am just being negative, and wrong.
 
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I have absolutely no info to base this worry on, so please don't read into it, but I guess it's just a paranoia I have that we wont get much progression with the story. That its just go here for info, then go there for the same info, then go to this place... for the same info. I'm being silly, I know.

Of course I hope I am just being negative, and wrong.
Got this quote from Yu-san that might put you at ease:

Shenmue has a long original story (laughs). Based on that, Shenmue III [completes] approximately up to 40% [of that original story] of the total Shenmue saga. Shenmue 3 is quite a lot [of storytelling] compared to Shenmue 1 or 2!
(source)

There's also more from the recent Famitsu interview, but it verges into spoilers, so I'll avoid posting the quote.

In any case, Shenmue III sounds like it'll advance the story and answer some questions for definite.
 
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IIRC Yu once said that Guilin was his favorite part of the story, so I think we're gonna see something big/mindblowing.

Also this:
4048
 

Peter

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Got this quote from Yu-san that might put you at ease:


(source)

There's also more from the recent Famitsu interview, but it verges into spoilers, so I'll avoid posting the quote.

In any case, Shenmue III sounds like it'll advance the story and answer some questions for definite.

I remember the water bottle demonstration, but I've been curious as to how far we are into the Shenmue story with arriving at Shenhuas home in Guilin. 20%? 30%?

I guess I am just subconsciously setting the bar low for myself.
 
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I remember the water bottle demonstration, but I've been curious as to how far we are into the Shenmue story with arriving at Shenhuas home in Guilin. 20%? 30%?

I guess I am just subconsciously setting the bar low for myself.
Hm...

Do the specific percentages matter much if Yu says that Shenmue III tells a lot of story compared to the originals? The Famitsu quote seems to back this up, but again; potentially quite spoilery if you want to go in absolutely blind.

But it's fine to set yourself a low bar, just means there's a greater chance of the game blowing your mind in November with the amount of progression in the story. And after all - it's about the journey, not the destination.
 

xatruio

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I'd say, to quantify, we're at 25% at the moment. Shen3 gets us to 40%, then IV will get us to ~65% and V the last ~30%
 
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