Shenmue Walkthrough

2. General hints and tips

General Controls

cn_LSc - Move

cn_RSc - Pan camera

cn_A - Action

cn_B - Cancel

cn_X - Open notebook

cn_Y - Open in-game menu

cn_LT - Zoom

cn_RT - Run


The fighting in Shenmue is modelled on the Virtua Fighter series (the game was originally intended to be a spin-off of that franchise). While you can find and learn moves during the game, we won't be doing that beyond gaining the relevant achievements. There are many moves (that are listed within the in-game menu) with different control inputs that you won't all remember and that won't even prove necessary to use. You can train these moves in the dojo or before bedtime, but both of these won't be necessary. You can simply improve the effectiveness of moves by fighting goons during the story (fights become more frequent during the second half of the game). In the menu, you can also assign a favoured move to cn_LT if you like. Spamming kicks is what worked for me for most of the game, only needing to learn to dodge backward and run around the arena to regain in health during the last few fights of the game.

Here are the general fighting controls:

cn_LSc - Move

cn_A - Kick

cn_B - Grab

cn_X - Punch

cn_Y - Dodge (in direction of cn_LSc)

Further Notes

  • The game starts on December 3rd, 1986 and you have until April 15th, 1987 to complete the story, or you'll receive the 'bad ending'. This leaves you with a total of 132 days. The walkthrough is structured over 18 days, leaving you with more than enough days if mistakes are made. Why this date has been set I don't know but it does provide a minor sense of urgency. Any remaining story-related achievements for that playthrough won't unlock as you'll have run out of time.
  • Ryo wakes up at 8:30 AM each day and can only go to sleep in his bed from 8 PM. This leaves a minimum of 11 hours and 30 minutes to play with each day. An hour in the Shenmue world is roughly four minutes and you can't skip time (a feature later implemented in the sequel), so you'll be waiting a lot in this game. There are also days of the week in the game but these are irrelevant, only time matters for making events happen.
  • Be prepared for many QTEs (quick time events), this is the game that popularised them and which are difficult to avoid in major current generation games.

That's all you need to know that won't be covered in the main story walkthrough. Now on with the game!

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