Quest Patterns: Shenmue Essay

1405 words - 6 pages

Max Cayo Hour 5 Quest Patterns: Shenmue Recounting journeys and adventures, especially those of heroes, is one of the oldest forms of recognized literature. Much the same as it did thousands of years ago; this genre of literature remains one that captures great interest in today's audiences. Aside from being popular, works that follow this journey or voyage model usually share in following a recognizable formula or pattern of events, which is commonly referred to as a quest pattern. This pattern is a series of events, similar in importance to their respective stories, that can be traced to the earliest of stories told by men. One major difference in the stories of today versus those of passed years is the way in which the stories are told. Rather than books alone, the stories of the present are expressed through film as well as television and even video games. One such game is entitled Shenmue, a role-playing game set in modern day Japan. The game plays upon the story of Ryo Hazuki, a young man who is thrust into a twisting and arduous adventure by a devastating event that would prove life altering for him. Contradictory to the advice of those around him, Ryo embarks on a spiraling journey to bring justice upon the man who murdered his father. As the plot-line of the game plays out it is important to realize that the story contains some of the stages typical to a quest; the hero's call to adventure, the passing of the first threshold, and the appearance of Mystical insight or supernatural gift.Ryo Hazuki's relatively simple and peaceful day-to-day life would soon come to an end as we find early in the story. We meet Ryo, a high school student, as he is returning to his home in the Japanese town of Yokosuka on a snow filled morning. Ryo's calm demeanor changes as he notices a large black luxury car hastily parked on the grass outside of his house. His father, a very highly regarded martial artist and master of the Hazuki style of martial arts, is engaged in some sort of argument with a strange and rather dark looking man wearing an unusual green embroidered Chinese outfit. Ryo attempts to intervene but is swiftly rendered helpless by two black-suited thugs. The two men speak of some sort of mirror and when they cannot come to a peaceful solution they commence in a fierce battle. Ryo's father is eventually defeated, forced to give up the mysterious mirror, and left to die in Ryo's arms after uttering with his last breath the name of the man in the green suit, "Lan-Di." This commencing event in the story is for the hero, Ryo, the call to adventure stage of the quest pattern. For Ryo, it is the first event that pulls him into the cycle or journey. Ryo, having seen his own father's murder and being able to do nothing, is now determined to bring Lan-Di to Justice and avenge the death of his father. This commencement is marked by the fact that Ryo swears that his father's murder won't go unpunished. In this case, the hero's call to action is from within...

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