Sega crammed a lot into its groundbreaking adventure game Shenmue, and it also managed to get five GD-ROMs and two manuals inside a standard double jewel case for the game’s limited edition in the U.S. Impressive!
Shenmue, which Sega will soon re-release in HD alongside its sequel, had the dubious honor of being the most expensive video game ever developed when it was released in 1999. Sega spent, by some estimates, $70 million crafting this detailed adventure game that places you into a Japanese city at the outset of a quest to find your father’s murderer. While Shenmue certainly had its flaws, it served as a proof of concept for today’s open-world city exploration games.
On this episode of Complete In Box, we look through Shenmue’s packaging to see how Sega sold this game to players around the world and taught them about how to play it. The manual introduces players to the game’s “Full Reactive Eyes Entertainment” concept, not to mention the “Quick Time Event” that Shenmue pioneered (for better or worse). And the game’s included “Passport” disc was one of the first times a console game let players go online.