What's Shenmue (Jul 19, 1999 Dreamcast prototype) and Famitsu Edition Release


This disc gave an idea of the impressive realization of the future emblematic title of the Dreamcast, of its extremely neat environments, of the new QTE system and of the characters that Ryo would meet during his adventure.


The goal of this demo is to find and protect, at the request of Mr. Yoshio Gotô, a man named Yukawa wearing a gray suit and glasses who has a mysterious new game.


Ryo begins his research in the streets of Dobuita by going to find Tom Johnson in order to know more. As Tom doesn't know anything, the two men decide to separate in order to find him more easily. Ryo then questions his friend Nozomi Harasaki who works at the Aida Flower Shop. The girl answers that she saw Mr. Yukawa at Suzume Park.

On his way to Suzume Park, Ryo learns that Mr. Yukawa saved a man who was being attacked by a gang of thugs and that he then headed to the arcade.


At the You Arcade, the manager confirms to Ryo that Yukawa-san was indeed there and that he even got his business card which he then gives to Ryo. On the back of this card is an inscription for an appointment at 4pm at the Asia Travel Co. Arrived there, Ryo runs into Mr.Yukawa who immediately runs away. After a chase in the main street of Dobuita, the two men find themselves in the arcade. There, a thug who was waiting for him asks him for the game disk but Ryo hurries to knock him out.


Mr.Yukawa is grateful to have been saved and is reassured that the game in his possession was Shenmue and it will finally be released.


Mr. Yukawa wakes up... it was only a dream. Behind his desk, we can see a whole stock of Japanese Dreamcast to be sold. Looking at a poster of Shenmue in front of him, he is suddenly reassured: Shenmue will soon be released and sell his Dreamcast stock!

SEGA distributed a limited 100,000 copies of What's Shenmue VHS tape and the promotional playable demo What's Shenmue to buyers of a Dreamcast or a Dreamcast game starting August 1, 1992.


What's Shenmue Famitsue Edition :


This demo was distributed to Famitsu readers. It can be distinguished from the normal version by its orange cover and the ファミ通 (Famitsu) logo.


You can download the Whats Shenmue Famitsu Edtion Dreamcast below What's Shenmue Famitsu Edition (Jul 20, 1999 Sample Disc)



Shenmue Face Demo prototype :


Nothing special changes except for some minor code changes and some map and sprite changes.

  • This prototype starts directly on the character presentation window. Normally, there should be the Sega logo then the title screen looking like the demo cover (blue). We should then access the main menu allowing to choose between 3 options, play the demo, see the presentation of the characters and the options.


  • On the character presentation screen, it should be possible to press B to go back. On the prototype it is impossible to go back, the B button is not present at the top right of the screen.

You can download the Shenmue Face Demo Dreamcast below

What's Senmue (Jul 19, 1999 Dreamcast prototype)



If you want to play the cancelled US version of Shenmue 2, the release can be found at this page: Shenmue II (US) V0.991 (14 Sep.2001 prototype) : from its cancellation to its discovery


Article written thanks to the research of the site Shenmue Master