Supernatural beings / time travel in future Shenmue games

Jul 2, 2019
So, considering that future games may involve plots related to Luoyang, the capital of the Tang Dynasty, ancient kung fu monks, and secret treasures of the Qing Dynasty, do you think Ryo will end up facing supernatural beings in future Shenmue games?

Like undead-looking girl dressed in Tang Dynasty costume and huge monk zombie with pale face and weird smile shown in the Project Berkley trailer, or some resurrected Qing Dynasty nobleman who got transformed into spider-legged creature shown by Yu Suzuki. (Maybe they were all twitsted by the power of Dragon & Phoenix mirrors?)
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With this in mind, sometimes I also think there's going to be some time travel, and the Shenmue tree might be the vital factor to that. We've always known that the title of the game, Shenmue, stands for the Shenmue tree, but we never knew why a mere tree could represent the title of this series.

Perhaps with the combination of the dragon & phoenix mirror as the key, and with the divine power of the fully-bloomed Shenmue tree, people can travel through time and space? We learned from Shenmue 2 that the ancestors of the villagers of Bailu Village are nobles exiled by a Tang Dynasty emperor. So apparently Yuan's ancestors were also Tang nobles. And maybe Shenhua's Tang Dynasty-looking aristocratic parents could have a good relationship with the Yuan family considering that they may be of the same class. Then perhaps due to the previously mentioned exile or even purge, if more severe, with the motive of saving their daughter's life, Shenhua's parents sent her and the Shenmue tree to modern Bailu Village with the help of Shenmue's divine power and the mirrors as both key and token given by Yuan's ancestor, and let Yuan's descendant take good care of her. To some extent, this may also somewhat explain why Shenhua always dreamed of a vivid picture of anicent Luoyang because she actually traveled through time and space.

Under this logic, If mirrors and Shenmue had the power to allow people to travel through time, Landi could indeed bring his Chiyoumen gangs back to a hundred years ago to revive the Qing Dynasty, and even revive Chiyou from ancient times.

This may also somewhat explain that in the bad ending of Shenmue 2, Landi, who already got two mirrors, found Shenhua who had experienced time travel. He may hope to use her to obtain the specific method of Shenmue paired with mirrors to travel through time and space?
And in Shenmue 3, the Qing court searched for the mirrors in 1910, two years before the fall of the Qing Dynasty. Maybe they also wanted to use the ability to travel through time and space to change the fate of being destroyed?

I even feel that the contradictory claims of Zhao Sunming's murderer can be properly explained if time travel is involved, but right now I can't figure it out. Maybe Iwao has already experienced the power of mirrors and Shenmue? Maybe the white leaf was actually a used Shenmue tree leaf that lost its power, and so it was placed in the basement with the mirror after use?
Just some wild thoughts in my head! Also I'm a native Chinese speaker, so English isn't my first language!
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Now that I think about it, in the original chapter map, the game ends in Loulan, an ancient kingdom in Xinjiang that disappeared mysteriously during the Tang Dynasty. Is this a coincidence? Why does Ryo look like as if he left the real world in the chapter art and everyone else seems to miss him? Could this also have something to do with time travel?
The existence of fantasy elements in the Shenmue universe has traditionally been a bit of a hot topic: Some people believe what we've seen so far were clear indications of supernatural occurences, while others think it was more of a metaphorical or stylistic presentation, not actual 'magic'.

At the crux of this debate is that people are divided on whether or not there should be supernatural elements in Shenmue.

As for my personal opinion; Shenmue is a fantasy martial arts / revenge story steeped in Asian mythology and Wuxia and some stuff we've seen even in just the first game is undeniably based in fantasy. The only reason people are still debating this is that Yu Suzuki has grounded the world in relative realism and flip-flopped a bit with things like toning down the cave scene in the third game, compared to the second one.

So, to answer the question, I think the story will definitely delve deeper into the supernatural as it progresses. Only question is, how deep will we actually go? At this point I'm not even sure Yu Suzuki completely made up his mind about it.
it looks like shenhua uses her powers in the project berkley trailer. and it was hinted at that shenhua used her powers to get information out a thug in shenmue 3. so i think there is a strong possibility of a some supernatural elements in the future games.

Where did you get the last image from? That spider-dude freaks me out. 0-0

For the first few images, I always thought they were of a Puppet. You can see a dude holding it, if you look closely.

But for the last one? I have no justification. Seems to be a guy riding a Spider. Why, tho? Is Ryo going to really fight a giant
spider? And a guy riding it? I expected ChiYou to show up. I expected Shenhua to pull some magic tricks. I expected there to be some supernatural themes in the series' finale.

But Ryo PUNCHING a giant spider in the face, like Wukong? Huh???

Even weirder considering the VF connection. Akira canonically lost to Lau at least once, but he already beat multiple supernatural beings as a teenager? Why can he stop Chiyou (A literal demi-god), but not a old dude with a goofy mustache? But then again, Suzuki ended up retconning Shenmue to a different universe. I guess this is why.

Now, I'm fine with supernatural aspects, if it's treated with gravity and weight. Shenmue, up until 2's ending, has been an (mostly) realistic martial arts story*, where everyone requires their physical talents and wits to win, not magic. Magic is rare and unheard of, even among grandmasters. Thus, Ryo's reaction to an giant fucking spider should be what my reaction would be. "WHAT THE-!"

If Ryo's reaction when we finally face that spider-rider dude is a simple "I see," as per usual, then I'm going to be disappointed. Magic in Shenmue should be treated like magic in a horror movie, not a Wuxia or Xianxia movie. Anything else would be quite jarring in the face of Shenmue's earlier chapters. It wouldn't ruin the story, per-say. But it wouldn't improve it, either.

Basically, what I'm saying is that old dude's spider-mount shouldn't be something Ryo can win in a grueling game of Lucky Hit!

(*Okay, yes, the old people in 2 were pretty weird, but there's at least an semi-plausible justification for their skills, for the setting, at least, being that they're just that good. It's still not realistic, but in-universe it's still martial arts. Not advanced magical "Chi." Which IRL is just breathing. Even the concept of Pressure Points is just a fantastical form of body science, and are not always seen as inherently magical...even if most depictions of it are! I've read it is possible to paralyze someone's arm/leg by grabbing the right spot, but I'm not sure how true that is.)
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I’m fairly certain the spider character model was from Shenmue online concepts. I believe those original designs and creations have no real bearing on canon story.