1001 Video Games

Shemue appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.


In the 2008 Guinness World Records Gamer's Edition, the Dreamcast version of Shenmue is listed as the most expensive game ever to develop at $70 million.


Shenmue started development on the SEGA Saturn. The Dreamcast and Xbox versions of Shenmue II both contain a video of scenes from the Saturn prototype, accessible when you beat the game and save your file. The scenes are impressive given the limited power of the Saturn. The working title was Virtua Fighter RPG and the protagonist Ryo was in fact based on Akira from the Virtua Fighter series.

The game was supposed to be quite longer than what it ended up to be. The game progressed further into Hong Kong and even had flashback sequences were you got to play as young Ryo. Due to time constraints and market pressure the decision was made to cut the game at the point were Ryo sets sail to Hong Kong, however lots of the mentioned sequences were already produced and included in Shenmue 2.


The game takes place in the mid-80s on a definite timeline, but the weather is inaccurate. There is an unlockable mode to play with the actual historical weather for that period of time.


During promotions at Tokyo of the original Dreamcast version Sega used displays featuring real forklifts (as used in the harbour scenes) holding TV's displaying previews of the game.

Mini games

Shenmue features the ability to play Space Harrier and Hang-On, the original 80's arcade games made by Sega. Both games were also created and designed by Yu Suzuki.


Although the game takes places in the 1980´s, Ryo Hazuki has a Sega Saturn hidden under his TV set. Said console was not available in Japan until late November of 1994, but like the references to Sonic, Virtua Fighter and Virtua Racing games, these things have no effect in the game and where included to please Sega fans.

Soundtrack on vinyl LP

In summer 2015, a remastered recordings of the Shenmue soundtrack are released on vinyl LP by Data Discs. The recording contains 13 tracks from the game by the composers Takenobu Mitsuyoshi, Ryuji Iuchi, Osamu Murata and Yuzo Koshiro. The remastering was done by Shawn Hatfield (Audible Oddities). (Sources: Data Discs product description, LP at Discogs)


  • GameSpy
    • 2000 – Dreamcast Game of the Year
Information also contributed by Chris Chidester; David Mackenzie, J. Michael Bottorff, Juan Pablo Bouquet, Karthik KANE, Lain Crowley, Jo, tangledcontrolpads and Vance

Contributed by Zovni (10665) on Jul 18, 2001. [revised by : FatherJack (62757), Patrick Bregger (198869) and Jo ST (24094)]. -- edit trivia