Shenmue III Developer Diary – The Music of Shenmue

A new developer diary for Shenmue III has been published by, focusing on the music of the Shenmue series. The interview clips with Yu Suzuki were recorded in August, but provide insight into Suzuki’s mind with regards to music philosophy in games and in Shenmue III in particular.

The topics covered include: the types of music that Suzuki likes, the variety of roles he has taken on in video game music composition in the past, and his current focus in music composition. Suzuki says that his primary role is establishing a concept or thematic direction for music, and notes that since Shenmue III takes place in China, he is aiming to capture the atmosphere of China in 1987. Suzuki also expresses fondness for the erhu.

Suzuki also briefly demos a few music tracks from Shenmue and Shenmue II (which won’t necessarily be used for Shenmue III) shortly after the three-minute mark, so this is a bonus for any viewer of the video. He demos the tracks to elucidate his explanations on how certain types of background music need to have certain basic themes in order for them to feel more appropriate to the gaming experience (for example, battle music should be tense, and quest music should be listenable for long periods of time.)

Suzuki is someone who takes the music in games seriously, believing it to be one of three key parts of any media entertainment experience (the other two being the visuals and the totality of any interactive experiences in a creative work.)

For a more complete grasp of Suzuki’s thoughts, watch the video below!

Shenmue III - Yu Suzuki on the Music of Shenmue

Credit for the YouTube upload goes to Gematsu.

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