It took a long time for Shenmue 3 to happen, but it turned out to be mostly worth the wait. “A seamless continuation of the series that makes up for its limitations with pure heart” is how we described it in our 83% review. It wasn’t quite perfectly seamless, though: Corey Marshall returned to voice lead character Ryo Hazuki, but many other actors did not, and some fans noticed.
That issue has now been at least partially corrected thanks to a new mod that brings back voice actors Erik Kelso and Paul Lucas to reprise the roles they played in previous games: Kelso portrayed Ryo’s friend Wuying Ren in Shenmue 2—he was replaced by Greg Chun—while Lucas voiced the villainous Lan Di in Shenmue 1 and 2, a role that went to Kyle McCarley in Shenmue 3.
Kelso confirmed in an email that it is actually his voice that players hear in the mod—and, interestingly, that he didn’t get paid for the work.
“ShenmueDojo and I spent the last six months doing it and it was all voluntary, just for the love of Shenmue and the Shenmue family,” he said. “Definitely fun to play Ren again!”
The Shenmue 3 Ren/Lan Di voice mod is available from the Shenmue Dojo. Get a closer look at Kelso’s in-game performance below.
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