Welcome to the Shenmue  tips and secrets section. These Tips cover the first game in the series, I have also typed some up for the second game, be sure to check them out.
There is an alternate ending to Shenmue, commonly called the "bad ending". To get it, simply last through to 15th April 1987 A simple way to get it by yourself is on the sneaking into the old warehouse district part on disc 2. When you try and sneak in, there is a one button QTE where you have to catch a flashlight. Simply fail this QTE and a day progresses, so simply put the controller down, stroll away, and by the time you have come back to the dreamcast it should have progressed a fair few days. It will ask you to save before the bad ending. Then enjoy.
It is is possible to beat Chai, the first time you fight him, in the You arcade. I have found the easiest way is to train the crawl cyclone move, available from the bunkado Antiques shop, to moderate level and then set it to the R button. Then when facing Chai, do not start an attack, defend his attack, the hit the R button. Of course, you can vary your attacks, however, punches and combo's he generally blocks and high kicks go over his head; therefore use low kicks, and possible throws if you can utilize them properly. Learning how to defend successfully is the most important asepect. I reccomend saving the game just before you meet chai, so you can repeat the fight over. Once chai is defeated, you have to free the You Arcade owner and go on a search for chai, which leads you to the Asia travel co. as usual, however ryo's attitude changes after he beats chai and is quite cool.
Tired of ryo not caring for nozomi? well try phoning her. You can learn all sorts of things, and it adds much to to their relationship. I reccomend phoning everyday. Of course, sometimes, especially on disc one, you simply get messages like "my grandmother need to use the phone" and "oh the cookie is burning", but dont let this put you off, there are some rewarding conversations to be had. The most rewarding is the final one with Nozomi. The day after you rescue her on disc three, in your last bit of free time, the notebook says "I should check with everybody". Listen to this advice, if you phone Nozomi, Ryo almost, he was so close, to telling nozomi he loves her. Also, if you run to the bus stop after leaving the work office, you should be able to catch a bus and meet nozomi, where they get very close aswell.
The slot machines may offer top quality prizes for getting 777 but they are extremly hard to get. So, here's a tip to make you win more easily. Simply go to lapis fortune teller, and ask for her to tell you the "gamble". It will cost you 300 yen, but it gives you the lucky slot machine number for that day. So, simply play on that machine to win easier on that day.
There are two scrolls in chinese you aquire in the game. The stab armour in the Hazuki basement and the mysterious scroll behind the Yin and Yang scroll in the Hazuki dojo. To translate these simply phone master chen and agree to meet gui zhang; then head over to him and he will translate one per visit. The stab armour is a powerful move where as the poetry scroll, as it is then known as, is a move written in code, which the original master will need to decode.
To sink the pool shot in the MJQ jazz bar the first time you go there and they bet you, simply tap right 17 times and you will sink it. After that, there are 4 different shots when you visit again.
Yes, there is a way to get around Ine-San's strict 11:30 curfew, however it can only be utilized at a certain point in the game. Whilst you are searching for heartbeats bar, you can stay up as long as you want throughout the night. you can still enter many bars and places in the "red light district" of doubita in this time. The you arcade closes quite early, however the slot house remains open most the night and the Tomato mart is 24hrs.
There is a cutscene that most people seem to miss. Your friends, Naoyuki Ito and Ichiro visit you at your house and you chat in the lounge. To get it you need to go to Yokasuka bar after 7pm the day after Nozomi's cutscene on disc two. This is around the time you are learning and trying to get in the new Warehouse #8. In the bar, Akemi will tell you that fuku-san called and that your friends are waiting at your house. Then you are taken there and the cut scene starts.
There are two free battles with Enoki and Nagashima that a lot of people miss. The first occurs on disc one and in it ryo saves nozomi. simply go to sakura park before 7pm the first sunny day after the heartbeats event. what is important is that its a sunny day. The second free battle also occurs on disc one. It occurs after Ine-san gives you the letter and charlie ambushes you in Sakuragaoka. you will only recieve this free battle if you completed the previous one. After 7pm, you have to go to a patch of grass at the wakaba appartments in doubita. This is on the path from Sakuragaoka nearest the you arcade and if you go there normally at night, you will see enoki and his gang hanging out there.
To get more information about chinese culture and the legends behind the mirrors you need to take the mirror to certain people once you have found it. The people are: Liu senior in suzume park, Yamagashi-san in sakuragaoka park, keizo-san in bunkado antiques and lastly Xia-san in the russiya china shop, this scene features sha hua and will be added to the passport disc.
Goro phones you in the game. This occurs on disc two if you fail to meet him at the harbour when he says he will get you a job. If you fail two days in a row, you get an extra note, and i guess if you keep missing the apointment he keeps phoning you. The wierd thing is when he phones, it doesent sound quite like goro, also he seems disapointed in you, especially since ryo is his new role model.
You can get infinate days at work if you want. This is useful to build up money, however the maximum wage you get you for delivering a crate only go's up to 600 yen. What you do is simply miss an important event that occurs after work. For example, simply do not show up in front of the harbour lounge when you have to go there to get a cutscene with Shozo mizuki.
Mai and goro are not the only couple in shenmue amongst ryo's friends. There is also Yuriko, the girl at the smiley flower shop, and Kurita-san, of the military surplus shop. Throughout the game by speaking to them you can see there relationship develop. There are a couple of exciting things happen to them throughout the game.
Every morning until you get a job you can spar with fuku-san in the dojo. You can do this any day after he teaches you the pit blow move. Simply go there first thing in the morning to spar. It is a free battle and is a good oppurtunity to train your moves as well as beat up fuku-san.
The normal route to learn about the three blades is to follow simply the liu-san route. However, if you first go to manupukuken ramen after going to Ajiichi you will be pointed in the route of yong and wu who are the frequant customers of the yokasuka bar. If you talk to them about the three blades you learn a lot about their history and also Itoi-sans.
Contrary to popular belief, there is a payoff to buying wang-san those drinks from the vending machines. When you are looking for a translater to the letter, most people simply speak to Gao wen, but there are two other routes. You can also meet that old woman who was lost at the beginning of the game and she will lead you to Xia-San. The longer route is to go to Ajjichi restaurant, who will point you in the direction of wang-san, who is out on deliveries. You can ask people to get clues to where he is, you will find him at his usual place at the vending machine and if you bought him drinks before he will try and translate it for you. If you dident buy him drinks previously, he will not help you.
In the you arcade in Doubita, the top scorer on the hang in game is Ren. This is interesting because he has appeared in an old Shenmue II sceenshot watching ryo playing hang-on, so this name leading the high score chart could be foreshadowing something.
Download The Shenmue Secret Sword scene explanation
Download The Shenmue 1 Notebook guide