Shenmue III Unused Dialogue – Ren playable in Bailu?

DISCLAIMER: This screenshot is from a mod of the game which swaps Ryo’s model for Ren’s, not a true depiction of this unused content! But gives you an idea of what it may have looked like. Credit to Dojo member Kaede for the mod and the shot!

NB: I recently posted about this discovery as a thread in the Shenmue Dojo forums, but thought I’d share as a blog post here too!

While recently digging through Shenmue III’s files, I stumbled upon what appears to be dialogue text intended for a scenario where you play as Ren in Bailu Village! Its within the files for the Battle Rally DLC – suggesting that originally there was even more to it besides the Bailu-chan hunt and the rally itself.

You can download the raw .txt file here (its in the game’s folders as a UEXP file but you can open it with Notepad, so I’ve saved it as .txt for easy access), but below you can find my transcription of it, denoting the characters that I believe the dialogue belongs to.
It can be found in the game’s files within the ‘pakchunk2’ PAK file – when unpacked, the path to this file is:
Game\Scenario\TextData\DLCBattleRally\en-US\RENDLCBR.UEXP

As you’ll see, the dialogue suggests this was a sidequest where Ren is charged with completing various tasks by Mao Meimei, who runs the Prize Exchange in Panda Market, who will then agree to go on a date with Ren if he manages to complete them all. However, things don’t quite go the way Ren would have hoped…

NOTE: Anything in red text are my comments, and I’ve also denoted who I believe is saying each line of dialogue:

Ren: Prize Exchange, huh.

Mao Meimei: Hello! Welcome! Have any tokens to exchange?

Ren: Well what do we have here. Wasn’t expecting to run into such a beaut in the countryside.

Meimei: Huh? What’s wrong with you? Stop staring at me.

Ren: I’m no stranger. Just looking for my guy from Japan who’s obsessed with martial arts.

Meimei: From Japan? You mean that Ryo guy?

Ren: Yeah, that’s him!

Meimei: Well then, you look like you’ve got time on your hands. What say you and me go have some fun. I guarantee you’ll have a good time.

Ren: Interesting proposal.

Meimei: In that case, do as I say and I’ll go out with you.

Ren: Really? Sure. Anything you say.

Meimei: And then there’s…

Ren: How many more you got, lady?

Meimei: …and that’s about it.

(presumably Meimei gives him a list of what he needs to do, or there’s a transition of time passing as she explains them verbally)

Ren: Okay, fine. I just have to do all those things right? Wait for me!

(to himself): That lady just kept going and going…Lucky Hit. Turtle racing. Wood splitting. Thug ridding. She even requested I take care of their boss. Hmph. Challenge accepted.

Ren: (reading from list?) Win at least once at Lucky Hit at Joy Park. Oh, is that all?

Ren: Lucky Hut at Joy Park. This must be it. I just have to win once. Let’s get this over with (presumably said when he finds the stand)

Ren: Hah. That was easy. (presumably said after he wins at Lucky Hit)

Ren: (reading from list?) Win the turtle race at Joy Park.

??? (possibly Ma Junmin, the Turtle Race bookie?)What’s a man if he’s got no luck?

Ren: I hear ya! Luck is my middle name.

Ren: This must be the turtle racing she was talking about.

Ren: All right! I won a turtle race! That was fun. Maybe I should play again. (presumably said after he wins the turtle race)

Meimei: You know, a man has to be able to provide for his woman.

Ren: Provide? I’ll provide you with anything you need!

Meimei: Then go and help Uncle Tao split some wood.

Ren: Wood splitting, huh.

Meimei: You don’t have to if you don’t want to.

Ren: No, no…I’ll do it!

Ren(to himself) Chopping wood, huh. Just gotta do it.

Ren: Whew. Done…finally. This better be worth it (presumably said after he’s finished wood splitting)

Meimei: Lastly, get rid of the thugs.

Ren: What? There are thugs?

Meimei: Yeah. A group of them made their way here and are scaring the villagers.

Ren: So where are they?

Meimei: The small fry can be seen in the Village Square from time to time. The big boss, though…He sometimes comes to this market and eats and drinks without paying. What a nuisance.

??? (Meimei?): A man has to be strong, right? Teehee!

Ren: (to himself): Guess I found the small fry. They’ve got thug written all over their faces. Tie to stretch these fists into their faces!

Ren: Come on. Too easy! I didn’t even break a sweat! (presumably said after he defeats the thugs)

Hm? What’s going on?

???: Hurry it up and bring me some booze! Unless you want me to bring you a world of pain?! You there! Bring me some buns! Make sure they’re freshly steamed ones!

Ren: (to himself): That’s gotta be him. The thug boss.

???: Hey, pawn shop guy! Gimme you(sic) money! You know what’ll happen if you don’t listen, right?

Ren: That punk just doesn’t know when to stop! Hey, old man!

???: Mmm

Ren: I’m talking to ya, old man!

???: Who the hell are you?

Ren: You’d better quit that.

???: What you say to me?

Ren: You deaf as a post? I told you to stop.

Ren: Hmph. I wouldn’t call that an easy win, but a win’s a win. Now it’s time to see my lady! (presumably said after he defeats the old man)

Now, its hard to infer who this old man is (and indeed the thugs Ren fights first, who don’t appear to have any dialogue?). The fact Ren refers to him as ‘old man’ rules out it being Yanlang again. But we do know of two fairly elderly Bailu Village residents who have a taste for alcohol and/or buns. Therefore it seems likely to be either:

Sun Jiusi

or…

Mo Guangming

While Sun is well known for his love of wine and steamed buns, and can obviously put up a fight, this sort of behaviour would seem out of character for the sage old master. Therefore I’m leaning towards this being Guangming. However, it is possible its neither, and rather an entirely new character created simply for the purpose of this sidequest. Who knows? It does seem odd that Meimei refers to ‘thugs’ and that an old man would be their leader – unless she is simply exaggerating things to Ren slightly to use him to get rid of an awkward customer, of course!

And following this, there is one last challenge for Ren to complete:

Meimei: Hello! You here for prizes?

Ren: In fact, I am. The biggest one at that. I did everything you said. It’s all taken care of. So let’s go on that date you promised me.

Meimei: My shift’s not over yet, so I can’t. Sorry!

Ren: Oh come on. I even took care of those thugs you asked me to.

Meimei: You really like me, huh. Then give me enough tokens for the most expensive Skill Book here.

Ren: What?!

Meimei: If you do that, I can close up shop and go have some fun with you.

Ren: Okay. But this better be the last condition!

Meimei: Of course it is!

Ren: Tch. What choice do I have.

Ren: All right! I’ve claimed that Skill Book. I don’t wanna hear any more excuses!

Meimei: You’re right. I can close up shop today!

Ren: Then come with me and we’ll have ourselves an adventure!

Meimei: (calling to someone) Hey! Come on out!

Ren: Huh?

Mao Zhi: Okay, sis!

Ren: W-What’s with the kid?

Meimei: He’s my brother.

Zhi: Hi mister! I heard you’re friends with Ryo!

Ren: Uhh, yeah I am…

Meimei: This guy said he’d take us somewhere fun!

Ren: Wait just a second here. I never agreed to babysit some kid.

Meimei: You see, our parents aren’t around anymore. I can’t leave someone so young at home all by himself.

Zhi: So where are we going, mister?

Ren: Sigh…

You may remember Meimei’s brother, Mao Zhi, being the kid that wants the soccer ball in the main game’s sidequest:

Besides the amusement of Ren getting screwed over, there is an interesting tidbit that I believe is not shared anywhere else in the game – that Meimei and Zhi’s parents ‘aren’t around anymore’. (presumably deceased) This is interesting as there does appear to be other members of the Mao family living in the village – namely:

Mao Yuefang

and

Mao Yeliang (Yuefang’s son)

If Meimei and Zhi’s parents are no longer around, this may suggest that Yuefang is Meimei’s sister (they appear to be around the same age, I think?), so Yeliang would be Meimei’s nephew.

Also, at the end of this file there are the following lines, which would presumably trigger if Ren attempted to go to a different area when he’s not supposed to, much like similar dialogue for Ryo in the main game:

I don’t think there’s anything that way.

I don’t have time for a casual stroll.

There’s still things to check off on that lady’s list. I need to head back.

There’s no point in going this way. I should head back.

And there you have it! I’m not certain if anything else relating to this seemingly scrapped content is anywhere in the game’s files – the only other file in the folder is a UASSET file, which I cannot open myself as my laptop is ancient and can’t open Unreal Editor (it can’t play the game either, I literally grabbed it from the recent Humble Bundle deal just to have access to the game’s files, mainly to check some things for the character database I just released!). But perhaps someone more savvy than me might be able to find something 🙂

I can only assume this was scrapped at around the same time Baisha had to be, as this was supposed to feature the ‘Character Perspective’ system where you could play as Ren and Shenhua – perhaps they then decided against having this feature in the DLC…at any rate, I’m sure you’ll agree this is a fascinating find!

-Stuart/Miles

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s