Shenmue had a huge marketing budget and part of that budget was used to explain what the game was all about. Shenmue is a unique game and explaining the main draw was a big challenge. SEGA had lots of programs going to promote the game before its release, including the fan favorite ‘What’s Shenmue‘ demo disc (the also the VHS with the same name).
In Japan, SEGA had released discs called ‘Dreamcast Express‘ that were handed out to members of the Sega Partners Club, for free. These discs included demos, interviews and more. They where the Japanese equivalent to the ‘Dream On’ demo discs in UK and the Official Dreamcast Magazine demo discs in the US. The first volume included a special Shenmue interview with Yu Suzuki featuring a ton of unseen footage from the Shenmue series, as well as the main theme played by a live orchestra. Thankfully Shenmue Dojo has just uploaded this video on their YouTube channel and you can see it right above this post. Isn’t the internet great?
Its crazy watching a excited Yu Suzuki talk about working at SEGA for 15 years and then turn around and have to wait 14 years to announce the 3rd installment. It really has been that long!