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The Story of Shenmue So Far
Posted by Ram Ronquillo on November 21, 2019

About 18 years since Shenmue II was released, and the continuation of the epic story – Shenmue III is finally here!

Shenmue is an action-adventure role-playing game series published by Sega for the Sega Dreamcast in 1999 with its sequel following in 2001. The series has since become a cult classic.

The game was ahead of its time introducing aspects like a day-and-night cycle and daily schedules for the various NPCs. It also required the player to sleep, take on a job to purchasing things, and practice martial arts to improve. If this wasn’t enough, it also offered other things to do in a day that included minigames, playing in arcades, vending machines, and gashapon machines.

With that said, let’s take a look at where the story left off.

Meet Ryo Hazuki

Shenmue is set in 1986, Yokosuka, Japan following the story of Ryo Hazuki. Ryo returns to his family dojo to witness a confrontation between his father Iwao, and a Chinese man. The man he’d find out to be as Lan Di was there to look for an artifact called the Dragon Mirror and mentions Zhao Sunming, whom Iwao supposedly killed in Menhcun, China. Despite Iwao giving the location of the Dragon Mirror to save Ryo, Lan Di continued to deliver a killing blow leaving Iwao to die in the arms of Ryo.

Ryo clutches his father, Iwao in his dying moments | Photo: Shenmue.fandom.com

This begins Ryo’s investigation of Lan Di which eventually leads him to the Yokosuka harbor, the underbelly of the world of smuggling and gangs. Here he meets Master Chen and his son Guizhang and through them he learns more about Lan Di and the Dragon Mirror. Ryo finds out that the artifact is one of two mirrors. He then finds the second mirror, the Phoenix Mirror, in a hidden basement of the dojo.

After a series of events and dealing with a local gang tied with Lan Di and his organization, Ryo is forced to embark on a journey to a new land – Hong Kong – to continue his search for Lan Di.

Ryo lands in Hong Kong with only a letter from Master Chen and the money he’s saved up from working at the harbor. He begins his journey in Hong Kong in search of Master Xiuying Hong, whom Master Chen had suggested he seek for help. Ryo finds Master Xiuying Hong but in the processes went through the thugs and hustlers of Hong Kong.

(L-R) Wuying Ren, Ryo Hazuki, and Joy | Photo: Steam

Master Xiuying Hong refuses to help Ryo because of his reckless approach and his reason – vengeance. This doesn’t stop Ryo as he continued to look for leads to look for the elusive Lan Di. He finds friends in the unlikely gang leader Wuying Ren, motorcyclist Joy, and street boy, Wong. Their first order of business is looking for Yuanda Zhu – the man who sent Iwao a letter that warns him of Lan Di.

The group find Yuandu Zhu in Kowloon City and survive an ambush by the Yellow Head organization. Ryo is able to rescue Zhu but also watches Lan Di once again escape. Saving Zhu proves crucial in Ryo’s hunt. Zhu reveals that Iwao was killed because Lan Di believed that his father was killed by Iwao. He continues to share that the two mirrors lead to the resurrection of the Qing Dynasty. Ryo is advised to continue his search in the Bailu Village in Guilin for answers and Lan Di.

Ryo Hazuki and Shenhua Ling find the note at the cave | Photo: Steam

Ryo meets a Shenhua Ling in the mountains of Guilin, a girl that he’d seen in his dreams. Her family is connected to the Dragon and Phoenix Mirrors.

The two venture to a cave to meet Shenhua’s father but find him missing. A note and a sword are what remains in the cave, the latter is combined with the Phoenix Mirror to reveal a large mural of both mirrors. This is where Shenmue II ends.

Previous trailers of Shenmue III show the Guilin area and all its splendor and surely picks up where we left off in the story. We’re interested to see how far Ryo gets in his search for vengeance in the third installment the epic story from Yu Suzuki.

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