Baihu's role in the Shenmue series

(Chapters 3-6)

Baihu's role in the Shenmue series

Postby LanDC » Wed May 25, 2005 9:17 pm

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Baihu's role in the Shenmue series has always been a questionable one. From his elaborate design, location of appearance, ability in the Tiger Swallow Style martial art, to the conspicuous line, "Hazuki... I shall remember that name," speculation is ignited within many on whether Baihu could be an important character to be seen again, perhaps even Ziming, as "Baihu" translates to "White Tiger," which is Ziming's rank amongst the four Chiyoumen leaders. However, possible new evidence should indicate that Baihu's importance exceeds nothing more than that of a street fighter.


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First and foremost, in the game's files, each NPC (non-playable character) occupies an abbreviated filename, for example: "RYO" (Ryo Hazuki), "IWA" (Iwao Hazuki), "TGY" (short for Dou Niu's Japanese name, "Togyuu"). Pretty much all characters have their own unique abbreviation, except some less important characters, such as street fighters. All street fighters, such as Greg More, Rod Stunt and Chunyan, who Scout instructs Ryo to defeat, are given abbreviations starting with "SF." Among that list, Baihu occupies the filename "SF4," meaning Street Fighter 4. If Baihu were of any real importance to the story, I'm sure he wouldn't be labeled as a simple street fighter. This discovery alone should say that Baihu is just the fourth of the four exceptional fighters of Kowloon, representing each direction.

Chunyan - Black Heaven Building (North)
Rod Stunt - Phoenix Building (South)
Greg More - Blue Dragon Garden (East)
Baihu - Thousand White Building (read below)/Yellow Head Building (West)


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For even more proof, a photo of Baihu (not seen in the final version) can be found with the rest of Ryo's items in the game's files. This photo would suggest that Scout originally expected Ryo to defeat Baihu along with Greg, Rod and Chunyan before entering the Yellow Head Building. Even now that Baihu is disassociated with the other three, does this mean that his role in the story was changed from just a street fighter for the final concept? Not necessarily. His role as the fourth street fighter is merely being exhibited in a different manner. Scout's original plans after bringing Ryo into the Yellow Head Building were likely to personally introduce him to Baihu for the final test, instead of having Ryo seek him out like the other three fighters. As Baihu's design is more unique, it only makes sense for the developers to relocate him and include him with Joy's capture in the Yellow Head Building, or else his character would've been utterly wasted on a simple street fighting role alone.

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Now, this brings us to where Baihu could've originally be found before his relocation. Also hidden in the files is an unused loading screen for a "Tiger Gate Bldg." (C Bldg.) not featured in the final version. The Tiger Gate Bldg. appears to be linked to Baihu, as the filename for this loading screen is "QKBT.gz," which QKBT is the same name of the folder that contains the information of the fight with Baihu. And of course, Baihu, White Tiger... it makes sense.

As you may know, the C building in the final Shenmue II is the Thousand White Building. So apparently, the Thousand White Building was originally called Tiger Gate, which is obvious when you consider the Tiger Gate Kung Fu and Tiger's Eye Military Surplus shop located in the Thousand White Bldg. And obviously the Tiger Gate Building was originally going to be Baihu's fighting post, probably to have done battle there just before receiving Scout's approval and entering the Yellow Head Building from the underground. *Note: Look below for an updated outlook on this subject.*

Of course, I cannot confirm for a 100% fact that Baihu will not return in the future of the series, playing a different role than just Kowloon's street fighter, though I feel the evidence is impeding against his chances. Most definitely, he's not Ziming.


Tiger Gate Building Update: An interesting observation of Kiyuu's would suggest than an add-on building to the Thousand White Building is where the Tiger Gate Building was located. Meaning the Thousand White Bldg. wasn't once named Tiger Gate, but just originally featured the Tiger Gate as a secondary building. Please look at her topic for more information.

http://dynamic.gamespy.com/~shenmuedojo/forum/viewtopic.php?t=24130

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As you see in this picture, in the Thousand White Qr's map, I've outlined where the Thousand White Bldg. is in white, and outlined the add-on in orange, which is where the Tiger Gate Bldg. should be.
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Postby VGAce » Wed May 25, 2005 10:12 pm

This is exactly what I believe, as well. I think Baihu is associated with the Chiyoumen, but as nothing more than a final test for recruits. Great detective work in further reinforcing this point, LanDC.

I guess now we know what you meant when you said you were looking for tigers in the buildings... ;)
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Postby Supa » Wed May 25, 2005 10:17 pm

Hmm...That' s interesting.
I think that Sunming Zhao or Longsun Zhao taught him Tiger Swallow though. It is a lost martial art, and those were (I think) the only two people that knew it. Unless he is some supernatural being who learned it thousands of years ago, but that raises even more questions.
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Postby Spokane » Wed May 25, 2005 11:19 pm

I must just say one thing. Awesome work.
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Postby Kiyuu » Thu May 26, 2005 12:14 am

Yes, this clears up everything. Baihu is the fourth/final fighter to enter the Yellow Head Bldg.
It's really interesting to know that "Thousand White Bldg." was once called "Tiger Gate Bldg."
Thank you LanDC for providing us with these unused images!! :D

Shenmaster777 wrote:Hmm...That' s interesting.
I think that Sunming Zhao or Longsun Zhao taught him Tiger Swallow though. It is a lost martial art, and those were (I think) the only two people that knew it. Unless he is some supernatural being who learned it thousands of years ago, but that raises even more questions.

They were not the only two who knew the Tiger Swallow style. There're some others.
Check this chart:

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Those four people of the last generation might be still around. 8)
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Postby IveBeenCensored » Thu May 26, 2005 12:15 am

ya i never thought he was that important, to just be fighting in the basement of the Yellowhead building. It would seem that Don Niu is more important than him. This seems to confirm it. Excellent work.
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Postby KiD » Thu May 26, 2005 1:21 am

one of those four could very well be baihu
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Postby Tobo » Thu May 26, 2005 5:47 am

Nicely done LanDC! Maybe Baihu will have a role in the future, it would be very interesting, but the odds are looking against him.

Maybe the develpers decided to give him more prominent role after they finished coding him and all that, and that's when they gave him the line saing he'd remember Ryo. Seriously good job ;)

Why don't we all go over to petition online right now and sign the petition?! :D
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Postby BayStone » Thu May 26, 2005 7:10 am

Coolness! 8)

Man, that Baihu is a strange character... it seems to me they needed to make some "last minute" fixes to the plot, gameplay or something. :roll:
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Postby Hikusaak » Thu May 26, 2005 7:40 am

I think the general view is that Ziming is more powerful than his sister, Baihu as we all know isn't exactly a hard character, but is quite an enjoyable fight nonetheless.

Nice article Lan, I found it very informative. :D
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Postby cApNhOwDy » Thu May 26, 2005 9:10 am

I wish I could delete every post I made on these forums.
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Postby Peter » Thu May 26, 2005 10:36 am

Excellent work as per usula from the worlds biggest fan of Shenmue!


WELL DONE :nice!:


Yes Master Baihu is one of the more interesting characters of Shenmue 2, and a great fight that insured the rescue of Joy, and the continuation of Ryo's chase of Dou Niu (and FINALLY you got to the elevator that went to the right floor!! :lol: ) as his future within the series was questionable, it now seems that he is NOT Ziming, or even any character who ranks high in the ChiYouMen.


However with that being said, the questions about himmust not stop there. It would surely be interesting to have an in depth interview withYu and find out the original plans for the Tiger Gate Building? What would have happened in the Yellow Head Building if you had already defeated Baihu with the other Street Fighters? Why was he a member of the gang in the first place? Was he perhaps a prisoner of the Chiyoumen? Had he ever encountered Sunming Zhao or Longsun, and if so, was it from any of the two that he learned the Tiger Swallow Style?


To close this post, with the knowledge that Ryo is to travel into China further on his quest, il ask, Will Ryo ever return to Kowloon in the series?
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Postby GP 68-99-08 » Thu May 26, 2005 10:53 am

Interesting work, but I can't help but believe there's a bit more to him than this. There's too much mystery surrounding him, and I don't believe that someone with importance that "exceeds nothing more than that of a street fighter" would be fighting in *that* style...
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Postby miguel_erosennin » Thu May 26, 2005 12:05 pm

The fact that he uses that style makes him an important character, because it’s the style of lan di, a style never seen and that no one should know to use it, much less one normal street fighter, but he is no impressive because he is easily defeated by ryo, and he uses moves totally different than lan di exept the spinning kick that he does.
And ziming should be stronger than xiuying, and baihu is weaker than ryo.
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Postby DeadPool » Thu May 26, 2005 12:59 pm

VGAce wrote:This is exactly what I believe, as well. I think Baihu is associated with the Chiyoumen, but as nothing more than a final test for recruits. :


i dunno i always thought he was their to kill people they didnt like or torture them. *shrug*
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