Tag: Project Shenmue

Yes, Madam? No Sir!

Like the team of Oracle and Bone Studios, as part of my education on 80s Hong Kong, I set about watching as many relevant films from that time period as I could. One such film was Yes, Madam!, an iconic work of cinema which directly inspired two characters in Project Shenmue, and which, even if you’ve never seen the full film, you’ve seen images from at least.

The iconic shot of Michelle Yeoh and Cynthia Rothrock, two massive stars in their own right, standing side by side as they prepare for an epic fight scene, is one that you’ve probably seen floating around the internet at some point in your life. And it’s easy to assume from that shot that Yes, Madam! is a buddy cop movie, a wunza plot where two badass gals kick some butt and do awesome, girl power shenanigans. This was Yeoh’s first lead role, and Rothrock’s first role ever, and the fact that they team up to kick ass seems like it would be awesome. That’s what the film is billed as: Michelle Yeoh and Cynthia Rothrock kick ass.

The problem is that that’s not what the movie actually is.

A Perfect Primer for my Project

My goal with Project Shenmue is fairly straightforward: create a tribute to the Shenmue game series’ story, but with an emotionally satisfying conclusion and less racism. Seems simple enough, but I’m approaching the subject of China as a complete outsider. I know some basic history and have seen some films, but there’s still a lot I don’t know, and I want to at least put some level of research into whatever representation I give my story. Not because I’m hoping to earn some SJW brownie points, I don’t think Project Shenmue will even reach the eyes of the arbiters of woke, but really just for my own, personal satisfaction and artistic pride. I don’t have any great goals beyond telling a pulpy adventure story with less racism than the pulpy adventure stories that inspired it. But I hope at least that I can make something better than Bullet Train or Shogun (stories I… have very strong opinions about). To that end, I have set about getting my hands on whatever decent research texts I can find on the subjects I want to incorporate into Project Shenmue, which leads us to the topic of today’s article.

What is Project Shenmue?

Okay, so, I mentioned in my big Youtube announcement that I am working on a new novel, the working title being Project Shenmue.

Shenmue has always held a weird fascination over me. I remember seeing images and gameplay footage of it when I was younger, but not catching the name of the game itself. As such, I could have easily forgotten the game entirely, if not for my accidental rediscovery of it after college, thanks to the timely intervention of a Youtuber named Super Eyepatch Wolf.

I think I can say, without fear of contradiction, that the story of Shenmue is very simple. Most of its diehard fans point to its historical game design and play mechanics when discussing why it’s a good game. But even if it’s simple, there’s something about the overarching plot of the Shenmue series that gets to you. Who was the man Ryo’s father supposedly killed? Did he really kill him? What secrets of his father’s life will Ryo uncover in his pursuit for revenge? These questions stick with you, and they’re what drew me to Shenmue.

So, like many people, I was very excited for Shenmue 3. At last, we were getting answers and a thrilling conclusion to the story, right? Right?

The website is up!

Woo! My new website is finally up and running, and I hope you all like it!

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