Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Ghost Ranger - Top 5 Favorite Secrets in Shenmue (Dreamcast)


There are many things to be impressed about the Shenmue games, but one I want to focus on now are the secrets/optional content. These are games you can play through many times over and still discover new things in. While the first game lacks in these compared to its sequels, there are still enough to pick out 5. Click "read more" for the countdown.

5. Arcade Prizes

Scoring high enough at an arcade game wins you a toy capsule that is a mini version of the arcade machine. This is just kind of a 
novelty since the capsule toys don't play much of a role until the second game, but it was still cool to have some skill recognized. As a kid, I could only achieve the mini dart board, but they are all optional. It is nice to have some arcade skill recognized. 

4. More Pool

We all know about the part in the game where you make a bet with dock workers to learn about sailors. Make the shot they talk, miss then you buy them a drink. Missing the shot does not stop the game, only costs you ¥1000. Even winning doesn't help much, either way you go to another bar. But, if you do manage to win, you can return to the bar later in the game to try even more tricky shots. There is no wager or reward for doing these extra shots, but it can be fun and I appreciate the extra bit of gameplay included.

3. The Bad Ending

Of all the games to get a Game Over screen in, you would not think this is one of them. However, if you fail to finish the story by April 15 1987 in game than a cutscene triggers that results in Ryo's death and a failed revenge attempt. That's about 6 months of in game time, which is roughly 1 minute in real life being 1 hour in game. This is plenty of time. So, you could play through the game many times over and never know about this. It will blow your mind if you never knew about it. 

2. Secret Moves and Fights

There are a lot of optional fights and moves to learn that they could be their own list. To the point where you can play through the game multiple times and still not find them all. For example, there is a Chinese scroll in the basement that can be translated to learn the Stab Armor. Also, even Yamagishi-san can teach you a new move if your in the right place at the right time. But, one that sticks out the most to me is a third encounter with Eniko. Many people have saved Nozomi from him at the park and done the QTE event outside the store. But, there is another optional encounter in an ally behind some apartment buildings. A patch of land that seems pointless; and it is except for this one specific encounter.

1. Friends Coming to Visit

Besides martial arts, there are also several secrets that can come from Ryo's friends. Examples, there is a phone call from Goro if you don't show up to the meeting point when he gets you a job, calling your friends everyday will let you learn about their pasts, and even the kitten can have a full story arc if you don't ignore it. But, one event I will never forget about is the one where your friends come to visit to check on you. As a kid, the Passport disc always let me know there were 3 cutscenes we missed, and this is one that I desperately wanted to find. It is a very touching scene, especially considering these are 2 characters you could go the whole game ignoring. Ryo tries his best not to drag anyone into his quest for revenge and keeps quiet about it, but his childhood friends can tell something is off and they want to help, but Ryo pushes them away. There is more than 1 way to trigger this cutscene, but starting at the bar can even tell you about Fuku-san's crush.

Those were my 5 favorite secrets from the first Shenmue game. But, this barely scratches the surface. One of the many reasons I love this game. Doing a list for the second one feels like huge order given how many secrets are in it. Regardless, I hope you enjoyed my picks and I hope you leave a comment or join our Discord Server to tell me about some of yours. Till then, this is Cendoo the Ghost Ranger, signing off.

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