SHENMUE 3 FAQ

by C. M0use (cool da na)
for exclusive display at Plato's Cavern (heeeeeeeh?)
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This FAQ was started in the first week of Shenmue III being available to the public (in late November 2019) and is meant to be the "frequently asked questions" variety rather than the "full walkthrough with every secret" variety.

At this point, the game's secrets are far from fully divulged. So this will serve as a continually updated repository of verified information. Give it a bookmark and check back in the coming weeks and months for more updates!

We will try to avoid story spoilers as much as possible, unless it is necessary to explain how something works. That said, place and character names are revealed from this point forward.

Sections:

GENERAL QUESTIONS
BAILU VILLAGE
NIAOWU


GENERAL QUESTIONS


Can you slow down / stop stamina depletion?


No - at least not without hacking or modding, anyway. Stamina will deplete at a rate of a couple of points per second of real-time, and will drop much faster when you run. It's fully replenished upon waking up in the morning, and the only other option is to eat food as you're out and about (commonly sold throughout the game world and also found in a number of places).

It will drop until the health bar goes into the yellow (below 400 points), at which point the constant depletion will stop but you will only be able to run in very short bursts. Keep in mind that you can still spar or train when your stamina is in the yellow without it depleting further - the only negative effect is that your levels go up more slowly in this state.

What's the best way to get money in Shenmue 3?


The same way as the previous two games - cheese the system.

Part-time jobs are available (beginning with wood-cutting, and more being added as the story progresses) but these usually pay little more than what you need to cover your food (and later rent) expenses. They are also mostly quite tedious.

As in previous Shenmue games, you can "save scum" any gambling game by manually saving prior to playing then loading if you take some losses. Some gambling games, at least in the early unpatched version of the game, are exploitable. Meaning that they have a statistically high win rate if you play them a certain way.

If you don't care for gambling, there are two other tasks that earn money that are less tedious than the employment mini-games. Fishing resembles Sega Bass Fishing and is fairly entertaining, and can net a few hundred yuan per session if you do well. This does have a small daily investment cost, though (you have to rent a pole each day). Scouring for herbs is quite lucrative and can earn you several thousand yuan per area if you find nearly all of them, and sell them for the more expensive "sets" at the stores that buy them (if you do this, though, keep in mind that some sets can be exchanged for new moves in Niaowu before you blow out your full inventory).

Also, once you get to Niaowu, you can street fight for money. You'll find a place called the Rose Garden not far from your hotel. There are a chain of 15 fights that progressively increase in difficulty, and after winning most of them you'll unlock an additional set of "handicap match" fights. All fights have an entry fee that is doubled if you win. You'll need to have nearly maxed-out stats to win the last couple of fights, but you're able to restart the tournament from the beginning at any time with no penalty.

Also in Niaowu, unlock the hidden fishing spot on the river (first side quest available) and you catch 4kg-5kg trout very often. Doing this for around three in-game hours can net around 1,000 yuan each time.

As of the early versions of the game, there is an oversight in Niaowu that you can exploit for unlimited money. You can exchange a set of four history books at any pawn shop there for a certain move scroll. There is no limit on how many of these books you can buy or scrolls you can obtain. The total cost of the book set is about 15 yuan, but the extra scrolls can be sold for 120 each. Get the picture? You can exchange the books and sell the scrolls endlessly at the same pawn shop, but don't be surprised if this gets patched out of the game at some point as it totally breaks the economy.

How do I chop wood well in Shenmue 3?


Watch Ryo's face and try to line it up with the log (heh). Get that nose right down the middle. It'll be harder with the smaller logs placed off to the side, but you'll get a feel for it pretty quickly.

What's the best way to gamble in Shenmue 3?


In Bailu Village, in the very first bank of Lucky Hit games you encounter (Joy Park), there is a board with a white tiger on it that has a very frequent win rate when you drop the ball all the way to the left. Note that there is another white tiger board near the beginning of Niaowu, but it does not have the same pin configuration as the original one and cannot be exploited in the same way.

Also, if you pay a fortune teller 20 yuan to get a lucky color and number and then match those to a frog or turtle race, you'll get a massive boost to the animal that causes you to win most races for a short time.

What's the best way to exchange gambling tokens for cash in Shenmue 3?


Probably to allow the game to be sold in China, one cannot directly gamble for money anywhere in Shenmue 3. You have to purchase gambling tokens (at a rate of 10x what you pay for them, so 100 yuan for 1000 tokens for example), take the tokens to a Prize Exchange, then sell the prizes you get there to a pawn shop to get actual cash. The sale prices of prize items seem to fluctuate a little over time, but the various gemstones seem to be the best option. Once in Niaowu there is a diamond called cor-something that tends to usually have the best resale value.

What are the highest stakes for gambling in Shenmue 3?


The Golden Goose Casino in Niaowu, unlocked after a few story events there, offers some tables with 2000 yuan max bets and win multipliers ranging from 4x to 30x depending on the game.

Do herbs respawn?


Most of them don't seem to - even in New Game+! Some of the more inexpensive/common ones do appear to, however, or at least appear very close to where they previously were.

Update: They may reappear as they are sold, at least to some degree. When I started New Game+ in Bailu, almost nothing was around. After I offloaded a bunch of sets that were hoarded in the previous go-round, a whole lot of herbs re-appeared around the environment.

Is there any way to import a save file or items from the previous Shenmue games?


Unfortunately, no. There's no official support for this, modding is maybe a possibility but a lot of the capsule toys and items from previous games simply aren't in this game.

Do items and money transfer between chapters? Do you ever get all your funds jacked like you did in Shenmue 2?


Nope, no robberies here thankfully. All of your stuff from Bailu, including money and gambling tokens, goes with you to Niaowu.

What's the best way to win fights in Shenmue 3?


Combat in this game is much more statistics-based than it is in the previous games. You can raise attack power by training up new moves while sparring (just do them over and over), and raise your health and defense by raising Endurance doing the various non-combat training activities (Horse Stance, One-Inch Punch, and later Rooster Steps).

In general, fights go best if you try to bait the enemy into attacking while blocking and side-stepping (you can do both simultaneously and can block for longer as your Endurance goes up) then launch into a combo into their exposed side or back. The Tornado Kick you start out with remains quite powerful through the whole game and is a good candidate for the R-trigger automated move for most of it.

Is there an overall time limit in Shenmue 3?


Yes. You need to complete the game by the end of in-game September. It is mooooooore than enough time to do all the optional stuff. As with previous games, about a month out from the deadline you'll get a clear warning in the form of a dream that time is running out.

Update: You might have to be out of Bailu by the end of July and out of Niaowu by the end of September.

What are the "points of no return" in Shenmue 3?


As with the previous game, once you leave one "story chapter" area you can't return to it. For Bailu, this is when you climb the watch tower as prompted by the story (and you'll be warned before doing so). However, if you don't want Shenhua following you around watching you be a gambling and fishing degenerate as you finish up side stuff, the point is when you learn Body Check (third day of training) from the drunken master.

In Niaowu, you'll still be free to roam and do quests but lose access to a certain character after you learn Reverse Body Check (bringing the book you paid 5000 yuan for to the Grandmaster). You'll leave Niaowu for good after talking to everyone on the fishing pier while looking for a boat, being told to find Bei then running down the dock to him (you'll get a warning first).

Help! The QTEs are brutal! Can you slow the QTEs down?


Yeah, they're tougher than in any previous game. They do slow down with the difficulty level, but even on "Easy" they're pretty bad and the game sometimes rejects correct inputs for no apparent reason (at least on PC). The good news is, you can't perma-fail any of them. At worst you'll just go back three or four inputs in the sequence. They suck, but you can always muscle through them eventually.

A side quest on this list isn't popping up for me.


Yeah, some don't become available until after certain events and some eventually become unavailable. The timing of each is still in question.

Is there a "New Game+" when you beat the game?


Yep. You keep basically everything but the items that move the story forward, and you can choose to start in either Bailu or Niaowu.

Where can you get all the new clothes for Ryo?


Red t-shirt: Tao-Get Store (Bailu)
Blue t-shirt: Kong Market (Bailu)
S4 sneakers: Prize Exchange (Bailu)
Monk t-shirt: Prize Exchange (Bailu)
SD Shenhua t-shirt: Prize Exchange (Bailu)
Fishing shop shirt: Win the fishing competition side quest (Bailu)
Fishing jacket: Complete the fishing stamp rally side quest (Bailu)
Black jeans: Prize Exchange (Niaowu, arcade near hotel)
Grey sneakers: Travelers Goods (Niaowu, shop near hotel with all the panda stuff)
Blue-and-white sneakers: Shoe shop on the Promenade (Niaowu)
Lots of Shenmue I and II character shirts: Clothing shop on the Promenade (Niaowu)
Blue-and-white satin jacket: Clothing shop on the Promenade (Niaowu)
Damaged jeans: Clothing shop on the Promenade (Niaowu)
Hotel Niaowu special t-shirt: Complete the "runner" side quest at the hotel (Niaowu)
Tiger t-shirt: Clothing stall on Vendor Ave. (Niaowu)
Red Snakes t-shirts: Clothing stall on Vendor Ave. (Niaowu)
Grey-black satin jacket: 2nd arcade you come across (Niaowu)
Justice Butt jeans: 2nd arcade you come across (Niaowu)
Ryo, Shenhua, Chai + Lan Di t-shirts: 2nd arcade you come across (Niaowu)
Gold-black satin jacket: Prize Exchange by Golden Goose (Niaowu)
Martial arts outfit: Prize Exchange by Golden Goose (Niaowu)
Stone washed jeans: Prize Exchange by Golden Goose (Niaowu)
Basic Hotel Niaowu t-shirt: Prize Exchange by Golden Goose (Niaowu)
Bell Woods t-shirt: Prize Exchange by Golden Goose (Niaowu)
Shenmue III shirt: Prize Exchange by Golden Goose (Niaowu)
Forklift Ryo shirt: Prize Exchange by Golden Goose (Niaowu)
Brown sneakers: Shop between Save Shenmue building and temple (Niaowu)
Green sneakers: Shop between Save Shenmue building and temple (Niaowu)
Chobu-chan Fly t-shirt: Shop between Save Shenmue building and temple (Niaowu)
Niawou fishing t-shirt: Win the fishing competition (Niaowu)
Sushi t-shirt: Complete the sushi shop side quest (Niaowu)
Let's Forklift t-shirt: Exchange set in Niaowu
Red and gold satin jackets w/ collar: Exchange sets in Niaowu
Bailu Chan jeans and jacket: Complete the Bailu Chan hunt in the Battle Rally DLC


Is Shenmue 3 selling well? Will a Shenmue 4 be made?


We probably won't have very good information about the game's total sales until the end of 2019, maybe a month or two into 2020.

Physical media sales are the only metric that's reported to the public in a relatively complete way, but it isn't done in real time and could take a couple months to get hard figures. Shenmue 3 didn't exactly come hot out of the gate in this category from what we know, with something like 15k to 30k copies sold in each of the big territories (US, UK, Japan). However, that's complicated by the fact that around 70k early adopters backed the game through Kickstarter.

Digital download sales are typically not reported to the public and very difficult to track, but publisher Deep Silver is a voluntary participant in the monthly NPD sales reporting program so we will likely start knowing something concrete about this after their December 2019 report.

There are also some wild card revenue possibilities here. For example, we don't know what Epic Games paid to get first-year exclusivity for the PC version. And there's always the possiblity of getting some "tie-ups" in place for product placement, which was done in the first two games but strangely didn't seem to be present in 3.

What will it take to get Shenmue 4 made? No one has set any terms or made any definitive statements. But just doing some basic math (knowing that the game cost about $10 million to develop but $6+ million of that was covered by Kickstarter backing), I would guess about 300k non-Kickstarter sales would be the magic number to make it so profitable that it's a no-brainer for a publisher to greenlight a sequel (at those numbers Sega might even be tempted to get back in the ring). Shenmue's revenue comes mostly from its devoted fanbase (rather than trying to attract new players), which can be counted on to do things like double-dip and buy DLC. Breaking triple digits (100k) in new sales is likely the lowest threshold to get publishers seriously considering it, which the game is very likely to top by the end of 2019.

What is the Shenmue 3 DLC?


Publisher Deep Silver and YsNet have confirmed that there will be DLC for Shenmue 3 coming sometime in 2020, but that's really all they've said about it so far.

A list of trophies in the PS4 version has revealed some details about the DLC, however. There are apparently going to be three scenarios: a gambling-focused one that takes place on a cruise, a martial arts tournament of some sort (possibly similar to the Zodiac Tournament DLC from Sleeping Dogs), and some sort of scenario based around the Chawan Signs from Shenmue 2. All of them have objectives that sound a bit silly, so it seems unlikely that they will build on the main story.

Update: The first DLC (Battle Rally) was released on January 21 and is kind of a callback to Yu Suzuki's checkpoint-based arcade racer classics (like Outrun and Hang-On). You run down various paths cut from in-game environments and have to reach checkpoints before time runs out, and kung fu mooks are scattered in the way that you have to stop and knock out. Sometimes optional mooks are off to the side of the trail for bonus points. In addition to Ryo you can play as Wei Zhen (kung fu girl with Chun Li hair from Bailu) and Ren. Aside from bragging rights, high scores at this can win you some new moves.

Battle Rally also came packed with a new Chobu Chan hunt that takes place in Bailu. It's separate from the main game, and is more difficult than the Niaowu hunt as the Chobus are now all over the environment rather than just in shops. However, you also get a "Chobu Radar" that beeps faster and louder as you get near one and look for it in first-person mode. Within literally hours of this becoming available somebody streamed a video and found them all - see it here. The reward for finding all 120 is Bailu Chan Butt Jeans and a nice new jacket. You get stat upgrades to the various characters for Battle Rally along the way as well.

The release dates and details about gameplay for the other two DLC packs are still unknown.




BAILU VILLAGE



Where are all the side quests in Bailu?


Please note: side quests are only available during limited windows of plot events. Start times are listed here, but closing times are not as that would be an insane amount of work. Assume that if you advance the story more than a couple of significant beats from the listed start time, the quest will no longer be available.

- Capsule toy kid: In central square. First available on the second game day, after you and Shenhua split up to find the bookie with the scar. Wants White Lure, then Diamond P (both rare toys). You get an item needed for a skill book exchange for completing it (given to you later when you walk by Joy Park).

- Heartbreak Kung Fu: After you meet Wei Zhen (Chun Li hair girl you can spar with), some loser will appear in Joy Park with this quest. Spar with her again and win, then return to the loser. Then return to Wei and apologize. She gives you an item needed for a skill book exchange.

- Return forklift: When searching the wrecked stonemason's cottage, you'll find a toy forklift. Give this back to the final kid you found in hide-n-seek for either a fishing spot or a skill exchange item.

- Fishing competition: Available immediately upon reaching the fishing store, but if you initiate it after noon you'll be asked to come back before noon the next day. Catch the biggest fish between 12-3 to win a Fred Sanford t-shirt. I managed to snag a 5+ kg at the spot downriver from the bridge, not sure if that's scripted but the competition doesn't seem to get above 3 kg.

- Kong Market mama: Becomes available after you bring the expensive wine to the drunken master. Asks you to retrieve a mushroom found by the fishing lake. Reward is a fishing spot location or a skill book exchange item.

- Mr. Su's Tall Tales: Becomes available during the search for Sun. Talk to him once per day from then (no more, or you might fail). After three days, you get a Caterpillar Fungus from him.

- Soccer ball kid: Appears near Panda Market after you retrieve the photo from the monastery, you may have to have talked to the kid (vaguely Bobby Hill-ish looking) and his older sister at the Prize Exchange first. Wants a soccer ball, win one at Pail Toss. Reward is either a capsule toy (not a particularly rare one) or a fishing spot.

- Blind lady: Becomes available during the search for Sun, after you are told to bring wine and buns to the drunken master. Collect a set of herbs for her. Three of the herbs she asks for are common and you quite possibly already have them, one appears to only spawn during this quest - I found it in the cow patch along the path to Languishan (the dead end with the yellow flowers where one of the guards hangs out for part of the day, not far from the martial arts dojo).

- Ghost kids: After you bring the expensive wine to the drunken master at the abandoned temple, the kid with the blue striped shirt and the girl in the yellow dress should be on the opposite side of the cow pen from where they usually are (near the sparring pad). Quest should be available then. Visit the abandoned temple to 7 PM and select the quest option with the master. You only need to pick five Midnight Mushrooms, but I found eight total in the area - you get to keep the extras and they are a type of food. All are near the temple, but a couple are halfway down the steps.

- Catfish Rally: Becomes available after the first fight at Hermit's Nest. Just talk to the fishing shop guy, he'll instruct you to catch a certain fish type at four different spots. You don't have to catch them all in one day. Reward is a sweet jacket.

- Pawn shop owner fabric quest: Available after you win the fight at Hermit's Nest. The ones in shops won't do, talk to the weaver lady who is found near the house that was the scene of the game's first fight (along the path to Grandmaster Feng). You might have to try giving a regular fabric to the pawn shop owner first to trigger this.


Can you do anything with that guy walking on the poles?


If you can, no one knows about it yet. You see him later in Niaowu as part of an optional street fighting tournament.

Where are the hide-and-seek kids?


The game shows you where three of them go - look up for the one you see near the ladder. The last one is in an abandoned shack behind the houses across from the cow pen and sunflower grove.

Do I really have to pay 2000 yuan for this wine to move the story forward?


Yeah, it appears so. If you haven't already, lawnmowing all of Bailu for herbs should net a little over 3,000 in sales if you don't want to gamble. Check particularly right around Shenhua's house for the more valuable ones.

Do the choices in the nighttime chats with Shenhua have any effect on the game?


They don't appear to, it's just for color (and the rare opportunity to see Ryo emote). All they seem to do is make Shenhua more intimate when waking you up in the morning and seeing you off. Yu Suzuki floated this exact scenario in an interview years ago and suggested your responses would influence how other NPCs interact with you, but it looks like that was another grand idea that got cut in the budget crunch of this game.

The always-reliable BlueMue has already documented all the Shenhua optional conversations ... unfortunately he did it with the stiff English voices.

How the hell do I catch these fsfksfsfjjhhetfegdfgd chickens?


This just sucks due to sloppy programming. The QTE time is very demanding, and not only that but if the chickens walk out of the "box" of the event or run into an obstacle / another chicken the QTE gets cut off early.

Just set the game to Easy difficulty temporarily. It doesn't make the QTEs any easier but it does give you a LOT more overall time.





NIAOWU




Where are all the side quests in Niaowu?


Please note: side quests are only available during limited windows of plot events. Start times are listed here, but closing times are not as that would be an insane amount of work. Assume that if you advance the story more than a couple of significant beats from the listed start time, the quest will no longer be available.

- Mask seller kid: Becomes available immediately upon finding his stall. Wants a rare "wagon bus" capsule toy, fortunately it's from a 2 yuan machine near the hotel. Reveals a fishing spot as a reward.

- Hotel Runner: Becomes available while you're looking for the Bustling Diner. From mama at the hotel front desk. The guy she wants is almost directly across from the hotel having a smoke by the forklifts. Win an easy fight against him and the reward is a special t-shirt.

- Wise Purchase - Find a woman in a blue dress standing on the pier where you first entered Niaowu. First available when you're looking for the Bustling Diner. You need to not only get the four items she asks for, but buy them for the cheapest possible price to pass the quest. This involves a lot of tedious comparison shopping, so I'll save you some time: most of the stores are near the intersection of the Promenade and Vendor Ave (Crazy Dim Sum - restaurant with interior seating, The Fruit Basket - stand near the pharmacy, Dusty Pages - 2nd bookstand you come across), with the exception of Travelers Goods which is right near the harbor.

- Brawling Uppercut 2: Work a day with the forklift shortly after it becomes available (while searching for the Bustling Diner). Hit the quota of five items at minimum. Afterward Deijin should tell you to come back to the pier at 5 PM. Go to the shorter pier between the ferry building and where the boat dropped off after 5. If you wait to do forklift driving until later in the story, the cutscene leading you here won't trigger.

- Shenmue 2 Character: The character from Shenmue 2 who wanders around the Golden Goose area and the initial pier area primarily will have a quest for an "almond mushroom." Available immediately after they appear, the first time you see them wandering around. Go to Tough Guy Herbs (just before you first get to the Save Shenmue building, its right across from a pharmacy in that area where you have to weave around a bunch of tables) to find it. They tend to wander around the Golden Goose area or around the harbor, then they head for the ferry building at 7 PM ... not sure if you can catch them upstairs there between 7-9 PM but I've seen them hanging out on the Promenade after 7 PM too. Handing over the mushroom marks the quest as complete in your notebook, but there's actually a little more to it ... next time you see the character, another quest marker will pop up in which they tell you that the pot they gave you turns out to actually be valuable. I'm not sure if that's just a prompt from the game to sell it (it's worth 275 yuan by itself), but it looks like there's room for at least one more notebook entry in the quest ... I've checked around with the pottery shops and pawn shops and haven't found anything yet, though.

- Music store rocker (SHYEEEEEAAAAAHHHAAAAAH!): Starts while searching for Mr. Hsu, after the QTE chase. Talk to the girl next door, return to the guy, go to the flower stand at the harbor. After that you'll have to find a special flower that grows "along the river" - I found one right at the intersection where Senary Rd. starts. Bring it back to rawker dude to be rewarded with a fishing spot.

- Niaowu Fishing Tournament: Becomes available while looking for information on Senary Rd. Like in Bailu, this is another where you'll be told to come back before noon the next day if you initiate it too late in the day. This contest is all about raw number of fish caught. The best place is the little pond near the Liu Jiao shrine as you can reel in quickly. The other competitor will get 3-6 per hour (only updates on the hour), so you'll need around 19-20 to win.

- Flag Trawl: Starts after you get the VIP referral. Get this from the "tour guide" guy at the ferry building (right across from the hotel). You just need to find (walk up to) six flags that spawn around Niaowu after you accept this. 1: Down the pier where you first got off the boat 2. Near the Buddha stand you had to go to as part of the story 3: Between the Golden Goose and the nextdoor prize exchange 4: Near the steps leading up to the Hua Xiao temple (left from the Save Shenmue building) 5: Near the back of Liu Jiao shrine 6: Right in front of the Liu Jiao shrine. This has to be completed within a time limit (still not sure how long) or it will end on you. The reward is a unique t-shirt.

- Super Sushi quest: Starts while searching for a VIP member. You can ask a lot of different people about a secret ingredient, but you're stuck with the first three you talk to. You just need to get one good ingredient out of the three to complete the quest. For me it was the lady at the flower stand who recommended sweet olives. Reward is a sushi t-shirt.

- Lion Smart Ball: Starts during the search for a VIP member. Get a pink panda for the girl from the Lucky Hit near the hotel. Reward is 10x garlic (this girl knows Ryo like no one else).

- Bookseller side quest: The little girl with the book stand had her yellow panda stolen by some little jerk. He's standing around by the mask stall. He says he hid the panda ... you think it might be in that conspicuously otherwise unused area right nearby? Return it to Child Labor Force for a Yellow Duck, part of a set exchange for the Let's Forklift t-shirt.

- Barbershop side quest: Appears the day after the first story fight Ryo loses in Niaowu. Barber needs a hair model, one of the girls at the VIP Club will do it. Nets a phone card that's part of the exchange set for the gold collared satin jacket.

- Stolen Shrine Scroll: Available when you are looking for information on a strange martial arts style. Shrine maiden reports a scroll was stolen. Find the character Ryo mentions first (he's usually in the area of the Golden Goose somewhere or wandering down near the hotel) to get the fairly obvious advice to ask at pawn shops and antique stores. Then go to Cash First (the pawn shop near the sushi restaurant and clothing stall). Might have to complete this one the same day you get it, so don't initiate it late. Reward is a unique phone card that's part of a trade for one of the expensive jackets.

- Pharmacy: Available when you are looking for information on a strange martial arts style. Possibly need to sell at least one set of herbs to the grim-looking guy in the first pharmacy you encounter. He then asks for some special herbs and gives you the general locations. Reward is a unique phone card that's part of a trade for one of the expensive jackets.

- Fortuneteller Quest: Available when you need to purchase an arcane book. The first fortuneteller located near the harbor has this quest. She tells you great fortune awaits at New Paradise. Go to the ice cream shop there and two random Gorotskis who are salty about Ryo's appeal with the ladies jump you. Beat them (easy fight) and return to the fortune teller, she gives you Dragon Carving for your trouble. This is a piece of a skill exchange set for one of the most powerful moves.

- Apparently I missed one involving a vegetable stand? Probably the one that gets you the Termite Mushroom phone card for the exchange set that gets you the sweet red jacket :(

Where are all the Chobu Chans in Niaowu?


Rather than reinventing the wheel, let me link you to this Whatculture guide that beat me to it and has pictures of all of them to boot.

Is there any point to the forklift job in Niaowu?


Just for side stuff. It wasn't originally planned for the game and was put in just for fanservice. As a money-making method it's better than chopping wood but is inferior to fishing at the hidden spot right next door to it.

If you do it as soon as it's available, you'll get Brawling Uppercut 2 as a reward (see Side Quests section).

Some of the items you offload from the ship later appear in stores as decorations. The arcade machines you offload open up new characters for Chobu Fighter, which in turn makes some new prizes available.

Thanks to @wispartan27 on Twitter of Shenmue500k who discovered that the red crates that sometimes appear will put new giant capsule toys on the rotating platform in the Save Shenmue building.

What do you do when asked to describe the strange martial arts style to weapons shop owners? I have no idea what these poses are supposed to be.


Me neither, but the answers are Snake - Monkey - Dragon - Bear.

Do I really have to pay 5000 yuan for this rare book to move the story along?


Yep.

The game says I need to find a boat. No one seems to have one. What do?


For some reason, the game wants you to talk to literally everyone on the fishing wharf (where Grandmaster Bei was) and get rebuffed by all of them. Then you will get a scene telling you to go speak to Bei, who is now magically there.

Where is the "Large Plate" in the final area?


This appears to be a translation error - he actually wants the Batman plate. Just grabbing all of the available plates can't hurt you, though.

How do you fight Chobu Chan?


There is a fight with a giant Chobu Chan in the game's code, but it's unclear if you can actually reach it through normal gameplay. The Shenmue Dojo found this battle by messing around in Unreal Engine, and it appears to take place in the training area of the Niaowu monastery. There is no indication yet that it can be accessed through normal gameplay, though.