We too wanted to pay tribute to Mr. Yukawa, and thought we’d do it in the best way the Junkyard knows how – by geeking out about Dreamcast games! After all, what’s a better way to pay tribute to Yukawa than to boot up the console that he championed so mightily, and play one of the multiple games he starred in? Here they are:
Let’s kick things off with Yukawa’s very own Dreamcast game. This simple game was released exclusively in Japan near the Dreamcast’s launch and was tied into a short-running competition. The game has you play as Yukawa himself, with the aim being to dig up various tiles to complete puzzles that make up images of Dreamcast-related memorabilia. During March 20th 1999 and April 11th 1999, players could submit their victories online to be entered into a raffle to win real-life Dreamcast goodies, or even ¥10,000.
Shenmue and What’s Shenmue
What’s a better game to contain a cameo of the man that sought to spread optimism about the Dreamcast than the game that was touted to save the console: Shenmue? Well, Yukawa makes multiple secret appearances in Shenmue, and a much more prominent one in the promotional demo What’s Shenmue: Search for Yukawa (former) Senior Managing Director.
The first requires you to win two Yukawa capsule toys (one of him wearing a suit, the other of him wearing a happi) in the Abe store raffle. Once you have both, head to Takara Sushi after 8PM on the 9th day of any month to find Yukawa making sushi behind the bar. In Japanese versions of the game, Ryo will ask him if he is Yukawa-San, to which he will respond “oh no!” before running off. In non-Japanese versions, he just runs off without either of them saying anything.
This now brings us to What’s Shenmue, a promotional disc released exclusively in Japan, that has you controlling Ryo as he searches for Yukawa around Dobuita. Once Ryo finds Yukawa, he will make a run for it (he really doesn’t like Ryo, huh?) which launches you into a QTE event where Ryo has to dodge multiple things as he chases Yukawa through the streets. This chase ends in the You Arcade where Ryo saves Yukawa from an attacker. This is followed by a scene that has become quite famous amongst Dreamcast fans, where Yukawa wakes up in a room filled with unsold Dreamcast stock, realising the whole thing was a dream. He then notices a Shenmue poster on the wall and becomes filled with determination to sell some darned Dreamcasts!
The DLC is basically a treasure hunt that times you as you look for six QUO cards in both Station Square and Mystic Ruins. But what relevance does this have to Yukawa? Well, emblazoned upon these floating yellow collectables is his smiling face!
That is all the Dreamcast games we know that contain appearances from Yukawa, but let us if there are any other instances we may have missed. Do you own any Yukawa memorabilia? Let us know in the comments below!
Rest in Peace, Hidekazu Yukawa, 1945-2021.
Thank you for everything!