Shenmue fans were ecstatic when they learned that Sumo Digital and SEGA had heard and listened to their prayers and pleas for series star Ryo Hazuki to join the cast and carnage of Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing. What they didn’t know at the time, however, was that there were originally plans for not one, but two Shenmue characters to appear.
Executive Producer Steve Lycett revealed on the Sonic Stadium forums that “We built Nozomi, but she won’t be in the game.” It seems her role would have been ill-suited to one of the demands of the contest.
“She was going to ride on the back of Ryo’s bike,” Lycett noted, “but there was the small issue of where does she go when the Forklift appears.”
Save for a possible cameo, it seems Nozomi is out, joining other rejects such as Segata Sanshiro and Sumo only knows who else. Still, at least we have Ryo, and we have his forklift. In the grand scheme of things, it’s a minor loss in the face of a greater victory, I believe.