About the Babel Tower, I found an old interview asking Yu Suzuki about the development of the demo that seems to have inspired the Kowloon part. Not that interesting as no mention to Shenmue there but still better than nothing.
Google-translated from french with some edits by mine :
http://images.eurogamer.net/2013/articles/1/6/8/3/2/3/5/140206890988.jpg/EG11/resize/300x-1/quality/80/format/jpg " We started working on this technical demonstration when I was asked to do something for the event Dreamcast. We started work on Monday, a week before the presentation of the console! To design this demo "Babel's Tower ', I was inspired to" Eight Man "and" Babel Niseil "(old Japanese animated) whom I am a fan. I prepared sketches and other sketches and storyboards [this is to draw the scene by scene sequence to see what happens] to define the "scenario". From that day, it took us ten days to complete this demo. "
"The team was composed of a designer and two programmers, and with this very small sample of people, we managed to set up this demonstration. If we had used a specialist cutscenes, it would have cost between 10 million and 20 million yen (roughly between 88,000 and 177,000 euros) for three minutes, but we managed to do it ourselves same without preparation. The Dreamcast is much easier to program than most machines, to the extent that everything is already in place (read there, libraries). Without being from the profession, it is even possible to understand its operation. If the demo includes about 1 million polygons per second, the machine is capable of achieving the triple without flinching. Obviously, it takes time and effort, but if you want to push it, the Dreamcast is capable of reaching 3 to 3.5 million polygons per second. But we are yet to see if the Model 3 is able to reach such a figure. Moreover, the Dreamcast is higher than the Model 3. When we designed the Dreamcast Model, we wanted to ensure that conversions between Model 3 and the Dreamcast is done easily without stress. I really think we have designed the machine that we will achieve this goal. It is true that the Dreamcast is a powerhouse for 3D but do not imagine it will not be able to handle the 2D. It can produce very large 2D. This machine is truly amazing. I can not wait for players to discover. "
(have no idea who is the guy below)
It reminds me how Suzuki was a so talented developer. Hope he has not lost his skills and his sense of management since his glory days.
For those who are still interested by Suzuki as the developer, I possess a french article focused on his career from his child until Virtua Fighter 2, describing for example his relation with US army technologies or the way he approached the Virtua Fighter development. It's only by private message as it's a paid article.