The Legend of Akira Scripts: Two Pages Translated

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2. Hong Kong
3. Su Zhou
4. Guilin
5. Baisha

Edit. Nm. I realize now you meant the faint kanji on the white paper. Not sure there’s anyone alive with eyes keen enough to to pick that out.
Those original scripts intrigue me in a big way!. And in that photo I noticed that the Guilin and Baisha books are noticeable slimmer than the ones for Hong Kong and Su Zhou. Maybe that could indicate a shorter chapter?
 
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Although it's not clearly readable, based on a few of the characters and the general shape of the text it's the front page of the script which was able to be translated from a clearer shot in the video. It was worth checking just in case though!
Oh well, at least we got the spines translated in return.

VERY interesting that Su Zhou still hasn't shown up in Shenmue proper, and that Niaowu isn't on any of the titles. Altho, it could've been covered under "Baisha" (Like how I assume Kowloon was included under Hong Kong. Unless it wasn't part of the story originally. Which I find hard to believe). Either way, the shortness of the last two is notable. I don't wanna get into my opinion on S3's story here, but I imagine it was tough to work with such a short script compared to HK and Su Zhou.

The bigger question? Where the hell did the parts of Su Zhou go? Personally? I think the Lan Di confrontation in S3 was supposed to go there, assuming this lines up with the chapter paintings. Ryo and Ren go through the siege on the castle (probably a different location at first), meet Lan Di, Ryo loses badly. He feels ashamed and depressed. Then the next chapter introduces Shenhua, a symbol of hope and enlightenment for the troubled teen.

Either way, I hope we see more of this chapter in the next game. And far beyond that.
 
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Oh well, at least we got the spines translated in return.

VERY interesting that Su Zhou still hasn't shown up in Shenmue proper, and that Niaowu isn't on any of the titles. Altho, it could've been covered under "Baisha" (Like how I assume Kowloon was included under Hong Kong. Unless it wasn't part of the story originally. Which I find hard to believe). Either way, the shortness of the last two is notable. I don't wanna get into my opinion on S3's story here, but I imagine it was tough to work with such a short script compared to HK and Su Zhou.

The bigger question? Where the hell did the parts of Su Zhou go? Personally? I think the Lan Di confrontation in S3 was supposed to go there, assuming this lines up with the chapter paintings. Ryo and Ren go through the siege on the castle (probably a different location at first), meet Lan Di, Ryo loses badly. He feels ashamed and depressed. Then the next chapter introduces Shenhua, a symbol of hope and enlightenment for the troubled teen.

Either way, I hope we see more of this chapter in the next game. And far beyond that.
Given that Kowloon is a place in Hong Kong, I think it’s safe to assume that both fall under the “Hong Kong” heading. Niawou is a little more difficult to say though as afaik, it’s an entirely fictional town. That said, I believe it’s supposed to represent one within the Guilin region and so it (or at the very least, the events that took place there) are probably covered in the Guilin script.
 

Revan

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I have zero evidence to back this up, but I have a strong hunch that Niaowu is a repurposing of Suzhou. Both are water cities, and we know that Yu referenced the Suzhou script material during Shenmue 3's development to cover events from chapters 3-6.
 
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Last year, Game Informer went over to Japan and visited Yu Suzuki at YS Net. During the visit, Yu allowed them to browse his original script books for Virtua Fighter RPG, the blue ones with the name "The Legend of Akira" on the front. They were even allowed to film a couple of pages of the script, but up until now these have never been translated into English as far I know.

So here are the 2 script pages, translated into English! As you might expect, they are from the very start of the story and many common elements can be seen with the start of Shenmue as well as the Sega Saturn footage - as well as some interesting differences.

https://www.phantomriverstone.com/2020/10/the-legend-of-akira-scripts-two-pages.html

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This was fascinating to read, I would so love to have the entire story translated and high quality individual photos of the concept art cards. Many thanks for your time and effort. A spark in the community! :D
 

24Nathan

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I have zero evidence to back this up, but I have a strong hunch that Niaowu is a repurposing of Suzhou. Both are water cities, and we know that Yu referenced the Suzhou script material during Shenmue 3's development to cover events from chapters 3-6.
Maybe my brain is foggy, but where do we know this from? Asking honestly, not facetiously.
 
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Maybe my brain is foggy, but where do we know this from? Asking honestly, not facetiously.
Again I am going off my recollection so don’t take this for accuracy but I thought the Suzhou chapter involved the train segment. That’s what I seem to recall.
 

Revan

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Maybe my brain is foggy, but where do we know this from? Asking honestly, not facetiously.
No worries. In this interview, Yu says Shenmue 3 covers material from the original chapters 3-6.

According to the GDC 2014 chapter map, Suzhou would have been the location for either chapter 3 or 4 (not sure which one).

1617640343246.png

So, this would mean that material meant for Suzhou (chapter 3 or 4) was used for Shenmue 3 if the game adapted events from chapters 3, 4, 5 and 6.

I'm just wondering whether Suzhou informed the design of the fictional Niaowu given that they are both water cities which is a bit of a coincidence.
 

24Nathan

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I see. I'd be interested to see that as well. I think that the chapter tiles have been reshuffled some since those days...maybe we have already seen some stuff repurposed into the three games we have.
 

24Nathan

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I know I’ve mentioned this before, and I wish I could actually find it again, but there were some pages in other volumes shown during some Shenmue video. I thought it was the NHK documentary, but I wasn’t able to find it there when I looked again. Didn’t find it in the Project Berkeley video either, but it was something like that. The video quality when I originally saw it was horrible, so I could only make out a small section of one of the pages, where Ewan (let’s make it canon) was talking with Dou Niu about not being able to apprehend Yuanda Zhu.
I remember this as well, if we are thinking of the same thing. Like a clip of a script, and someone slowly flipping through like the first two or three pages?
 
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I remember this as well, if we are thinking of the same thing. Like a clip of a script, and someone slowly flipping through like the first two or three pages?
I think there may have been a shot of that, yes. The part I remember vividly is a pan across a couple different pages of the two or three different volumes. One of them was definitely Hong Kong.

i think it may have gone: Suzuki or other staffers thumbing through or showing a page or two; Close up pan over a couple books lying open; One close-up still shot of another page.

I’m almost certain it was a Dreamcast era video, but maybe I’m wrong about that.
 

24Nathan

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I think there may have been a shot of that, yes. The part I remember vividly is a pan across a couple different pages of the two or three different volumes. One of them was definitely Hong Kong.

i think it may have gone: Suzuki or other staffers thumbing through or showing a page or two; Close up pan over a couple books lying open; One close-up still shot of another page.

I’m almost certain it was a Dreamcast era video, but maybe I’m wrong about that.
Check 16:20 here...is this it?

 
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Check 16:20 here...is this it?

I don’t know if I was thinking of that exact video, but the footage used is what I was thinking of, I’m pretty sure. Still hurts my eyes trying to read anything there. Will look at it again on a bigger screen later.
 
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Check 16:20 here...is this it?

THAT'S A GREAT FIND!

It's probably not anything super revealing, but it'd still be interesting to see how the dialogue evolved.
...Ideally, it's better than "Another...Mirror...Underground...I'm...Dying...Now...GAH!" <_<
 

Revan

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THAT'S A GREAT FIND!

It's probably not anything super revealing, but it'd still be interesting to see how the dialogue evolved.
...Ideally, it's better than "Another...Mirror...Underground...I'm...Dying...Now...GAH!" <_<
I know there's this belief that the original vision of this story was this immaculate draft and that everything since (i.e. Shenmue 2 reshuffling chapters and skipping locations like Suzhou) has been compromised and unable to realise the full grandeur of the Akira RPG story. However, examples like this demonstrate how editing is also important to the creative process - how Ryo learns about the second mirror from that line in the first draft is pretty lame.
 
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Check 16:20 here...is this it?

It was a bit headache-inducing trying to make out the fuzzy text but as @Rydeen indicated, the script page shown in close-up is for Hong Kong (Kowloon) and is a part of the wiretapper's tape, with conversations involving the Yellow Heads hunting for Yuanda Zhu that are loosely similar to the game's release version although not identical. An interesting point is that the script refers to "Akira" as the protagonist - as might be expected being from the Project Berkley era but still nice to see it there in the text.
 
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