Skip to main content

Shenmue 3 mod brings back the original Ren and Lan Di

Audio player loading…

It took a long time for Shenmue 3 to happen, but it turned out to be mostly worth the wait. "A seamless continuation of the series that makes up for its limitations with pure heart" is how we described it in our 83% review. It wasn't quite perfectly seamless, though: Corey Marshall returned to voice lead character Ryo Hazuki, but many other actors did not, and some fans noticed.

That issue has now been at least partially corrected thanks to a new mod that brings back voice actors Eric Kelso and Paul Lucas to reprise the roles they played in previous games: Kelso portrayed Ryo's friend Wuying Ren in Shenmue 2—he was replaced by Greg Chun—while Lucas voiced the villainous Lan Di in Shenmue 1 and 2, a role that went to Kyle McCarley in Shenmue 3.

Kelso confirmed in an email that it is actually his voice that players hear in the mod—and, interestingly, that he didn't get paid for the work.

"ShenmueDojo and I spent the last six months doing it and it was all voluntary, just for the love of Shenmue and the Shenmue family," he said. "Definitely fun to play Ren again!"

The Shenmue 3 Ren/Lan Di voice mod is available from the Shenmue Dojo. Get a closer look at Kelso's in-game performance below.

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.