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237shenmue1

Destiny dances on a single awful instant.

The Day The Snow Turned To Rain is a Complete Story set in the universe of Shenmue and published in Issue 237 of Sonic the Comic Online. It was intended to be a prologue chapter of an ongoing series which never materialised - however, while Shenmue itself did not flourish, it is noteworthy in that it is the first non-Sonic strip to appear in STC-O. It thus revived the tradition of including stories based on other Sega franchises that was a distinguishing feature of the print version of Sonic the Comic, one that STC-O would maintain with more diverse stories in later issues.

Staff

Story

237shenmue2

The glitter of jewels will drive men mad - is it a powerful artefact that inspires incredible passion, or a chintzy trinket which vermin squabble over?

The contents of the comic are a condensed adaptation of the opening scene of the Shenmue videogame. In a montage sequence, we see hero Ryo Hazuki introduce via narration his friend Nozomi, his housekeeper Ine, his martial-artist father and his student Fuku.

It is a bleak and blustery winter day - snow is in the air, but a sky of grim stone-grey rather than light white promises cold, biting winds rather than a light sheen draping the Earth. Lan Di is driven through the town of Dobuita in a forbidding black limosine and arrives at the Hazuki mansion. Ryo, returning back home after spending time with Nozomi at the flower shop where she works, is perturbed to see the limosine drawn up outside the mansion and rushes through the grounds to the family dojo, where he is confronted by the shocking sight of seeing Fuku literally flung through the doors by a savage strike.

Fuku sprawls across the grass outside, stunned. Ryo steps over him to investigate what's going on inside, to discover his father fighting Lan Di. Displaying consummate skill, Lan Di smartly steps back from an axe kick delivered by Ryo's father, before stepping forward and delivering a powerful smash to Hazuki's abdomen, the casual, economical movements belying the formidable power contained in the blow.

Horrified at the sight, Ryo attempts to step forward into the dojo and intervene, but he is incapacitated by a neck-chop from one of Lan Di's black-suited henchmen. Continuing without interruption, Lan Di pulls the Dragon Mirror from Hazuki's body and sweeps out, his only words a reminder to Hazuki's fading life that the name of the man he killed in Meng Cun was Zhao Sun Ming, signifying that Hazuki and Lan Di evidently have some troubled history together. Lan Di does not even acknowledge Ryo's presence, such is the gnat's insignificance.

As the limosine roars away, the promised ill-weather breaks, with stinging rain sluicing along the streets of Dobuita. As it hammers against the roof of the dojo, a fearful, meancing drumbeat of dark resolve, Ryo swears revenge for the death of his father. He will track Lan Di down, and when they next meet, his father's murderer will notice him for sure.

Trivia

  • Due to space constraints, this comic condenses events and so makes some departures from the scene as depicted in the game. Originally Ryo became alerted to the danger present when he found his family sign broken and Ine thrown down in the garden; here, Ine is seen making dinner and apparently entirely unaware of the murder and violence being committed elsewhere in the residence! Also, the Dragon Mirror was originally buried underneath the cherry tree in the Hazuki garden, a focal point in Ryo's recollections - here, Hazuki carries it on his person. Hazuki also gave up the location of the mirror when Lan Di threatened to kill Ryo, and delivered a dying message to his son - this time around Lan Di merely pulls it from Hazuki's cooling and silent corpse. Altogether, the comic edition is bereft of much of the drama that distinguished the game and gave it such impact.
  • While the story has the title "The Day The Snow Turned To Rain", it is not actually named in the strip itself, only in the webpage credits.
  • The term "the day the snow turned to rain" itself comes from a line that was notorious for being repeated ad nauseam in the early stages of the game as multiple characters all reflected on Hazuki's death with the same opening comment: "do you remember, that day, when the snow turned to rain..."

Timeline

This is presently the only Shenmue story published in STC-O.

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