The SEGA Five: Shenmue’s craziest moments

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It was a day of deathly quiet as Ryo hurried up the path to the Hazuki dojo, well aware that something was amiss. Minutes later, he would witness the murder of his father at the hands of Lan Di, an event that would forever alter the course of his existence.

Shenmue was a series that began dramatically, but quietly. Iwao’s death was one showcased with a degree of style, but the next few hours of the game saw the Hazuki dojo grieving, with Ryo searching through town for the most mundane of clues. It was a deliberately-paced start that may have mislead some into believing that they’d began a subtle and realistic experience; and to an extent, they wouldn’t be wrong. But Shenmue is, at heart, a Kung Fu epic.  And like in almost any of those, it doesn’t take long at all for the adventure to fly off the rails. In a good way.

5. Asia Travel Company

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Though much of the series’ out of control events would take place in its far grittier sequel, the original Shenmue was certainly not without its share of craziness. Ryo’s dealings with the inept Dobuita travel agency began simply enough; he wanted to travel by boat, and they were the only ones locally who offered the option. The employees seemed disinterested to say the least, but Ryo made the arrangements. The resulting deal lead to the loss of Fuku-San’s savings and the failure to acquire his ticket, not to mention the fact that Ryo wound up chasing the agency’s owner down the street and assaulting him; talk about a bad business deal.

4. The 70 Man Brawl

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Much of the New Yokosuka Harbor lived in fear of the Mad Angels, a crew of threatening gangsters with some of the strangest-sounding voices known to man…okay, that part wasn’t actually intentional. But they were feared, with the storyline linking them to a major drug smuggling ring, gangs in both Japan and Hong Kong, as well as multiple deaths around the harbor and vandalism to the property. Shenmue’s grand finale saw Ryo and Gui Zhang, two teenagers, take on and defeat the entire gang by themselves; guess they weren’t so tough after all.

3. Imprisoned

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Ryo’s adventures in Hong Kong would prove to be even more dangerous, especially once he teamed up with Aberdeen punk Ren of the Heavens gang and ventured into Kowloon. Betrayed by their contact, the two found themselves handcuffed together and locked in the depths of an apartment building, forced to flee from countless pursuers, including the gigantic Dou Niu, (more on him later) who also gives chase and who can apparently run pretty quickly. Their chase took them from a prison cell, through multiple Kowloon skyscrapers, onto a rooftop, and even out a window.

2. Is that a…chainsaw!?

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Though Shenmue II ended quietly in the caves of Guilin, its real finale took place atop the Yellow Head Building, with a final dungeon involving an ascent to the top and close encounter after close encounter with the Yellow Head. Yuan, who as a character was simply strange enough, at one point emerges from an apartment wielding a chainsaw, proceeding to chase Ryo and Ren down a hallway with it. The final battle with Yuan involving the chainsaw, a fire hydrant, handcuffs a metal bar, and not to mention a garbage can, simply has to be seen to be believed.

1. The Rooftop

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If there’s one moment that most any Shenmue fan remembers, it’s the cinematic final battle on the rooftop. With Kowloon and Hong Kong sprawled out below, Ryo went up against Dou Niu, a character so huge that each step he took caused the nearby environment to shake. The scene would be epic enough as it was, but the sudden re-appearance of Lan Di for the first time (outside of flashback) was both unexpected and intense. Whatever you may think of Shenmue’s dialogue or storytelling, it’s hard to deny that this was a scene pulled off incredibly well.

What are your favorite crazy Shenmue moments? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!


10 responses to “The SEGA Five: Shenmue’s craziest moments

  1. Supa says:

    It was 70 men, not 50.

  2. Supa says:

    🙂 Thanks.

  3. TMK says:

    Also, Guizhang isn’t a teenager. He’s 30. :-p Just saying. But I have to throw Shenmue II’s ending in there. I think that’ll go down in history as the most intriguing cliffhanger ever.

  4. Gen says:

    Well actually, you are no longer considered an adult until you are at least 25 into your 30s, it used to be 18, then 16 and even 14 once (though that was probably due to child labour in the Victorian era).

    But yes, 25 is now the new guide line cap officially which was in the news a few weeks ago, not 16, which was a shock at first, but makes sense when you think about it, as the human brain doesn’t finish developing until the late 20s into the 30s, plus people are living longer as well.

  5. Pumpkineer says:

    For me, the most memorable moment from both games was exploring the dojo basement in Shenmue 1. The place was packed with so much mystery! It’s a shame they explained so little about some of those items (the dried leaf, for example). And the tiger scroll, of course.

  6. Ben says:

    Had no idea Gui Zhang was that old, lol.

  7. Brian M says:

    I love this game, so many flashback memories.

  8. Chris A says:

    As a person who I enjoyed every moment of both games, all these 5 moments mentioned here are up with the greatest, I love the dark atmosphere of the Kowloon buildings so all the scenes taken place within the buildings are my best, but my favourite moments would be on disc 4 of Shenmue 2, where we enter the rural Guilin, such a dramatic change in scenery, just as we thought the game was at its end we are introduced to this new world, and to me, venturing to the top of the mountains through the forests was a breathtaking experience and one I won’t forget, ah, really all of the shenmue settings are so detailed and memorable it’s as if I’d really been there in person, from Dobuita all the way to Guilin. I really hope at least a HD remake is made since my old discs are damaged.

  9. Ben says:

    I feel like an HD remake would have to make some pretty big changes to the gameplay, but I’d deff be excited to see one.

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