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"Tell Master Dou Niu... that I found two rats. Too bad, isn't it? You aren't getting away!"
―Yuan approaching Ryo and Ren armed with a chainsaw. — Listen (file info)[src]

Yuan (ユアン Yuan) is Dou Niu's right-hand partner who is an high-ranking executive of the Yellow Head gang that operates in Kowloon. Yuan is a central antagonist in Shenmue II. Yuan often blackmails Kowloon's shopkeepers, as they are all afraid of Yuan and Dou Niu.

Yuan's gender is altered in the English versions of the game. In the original Japanese version, Yuan is a stereotypically effeminate gay man who has a relationship with Dou Niu. He is also a transvestite (someone who enjoys dressing in clothes primarily associated with the opposite sex.). There are no confirmations of transgenderism. In the English version, Yuan was localized to be a woman, was given a woman's voice and female pronouns are used to refer to Yuan. Yuan is still a transvestite in this version. For the sake of consistency, this wiki uses male pronouns, as the Shenmue III official website [1] does. For more information see gender.


Yuan is 170 cm (5'7") tall. He has short orange hair (Blond in the concept art.) and wears bright red lipstick and has black eyeshadow, eyeliner and mascara. He has a gold circular earring on his left ear and wears a gold ring on both his middle fingers and has bright red nail polish. He wears a red short sleeved shirt with his stomach exposed and a black leather vest. He also wears a black belt with a gold buckle, zebra patterned pants and long black women's boots.

Shenmue II

Yuan meeting Ryo for the first time.

Yuan is first encountered in the Lucky Charm Quarter, when the Yellow Heads capture Yuanda Zhu's aide Shuqin Zhang. He was about to hit Ryo Hazuki in the back with a pipe, but he dodged the attack by tripping him. Yuan then orders the Yellow Head members to attack Ryo, but then sees them on the ground knocked out, not knowing that they were beat up by Xiuying Hong.

Later in Aberdeen, Wuying Ren tricks Ryo into following him into interrupting a deal between Yuan and Gangfang Lin. Ren interrupts the meeting and escapes with the money, leaving Ryo to deal with Yuan and two other Yellow Head members (This scene is determinant and only happens if the player succeeds the command QTE when meeting Ren). If Ryo fails the fight with the two guys, they will leave him there on the floor tied up and Wong will come and untie him and tell him that Ren is at Pigeon Park. [2]

Yuan threatens Ryo and Ren.

Once Ryo and Ren are handcuffed together in the Dancing Dragon Building in Kowloon, after they sleep on the roof and try to escape at sunrise, Yuan comes out of the elevator door armed with a knife. He threatens them and attempts to cut them with his knife, until they both stop him. After this, Dou Niu comes out of the elevator and threatens to kill them for stopping his partner Yuan and attempts to do so by chasing them as they run away. Once Ryo searches the last of Huang the Wiretapper's tapes, there is a conversation with Yuan, his talking pet Myna bird, and Dou Niu about how he captured Zhang and was going to torture him for information on Zhu.

After realizing that Zhang is in danger, Ryo and Ren look for him. There are two alternate paths in finding out where Yuan is. One is through the Moon Child Orphanage in the Moon Child Building where Ren is or through asking at knife shops where Yuan is a frequent customer at. Either way, they'll find out that Yuan will be at the roof of the Three Birds Building at dawn, where he usually gets bird feed for his myna bird.

Yuan unconscious on the floor of his room.

Ryo and Ren end up following Yuan throughout Kowloon, as he does odd things like drinking tea elegantly, being compulsively disgusted at filthy creatures, and checking at a knife shop to see if his new knife for his collection is delivered to his room. After following him, Yuan enters his room on the 4th floor of the Golden Flower Building. Ryo ends up knocking on his door and once he opens it, he kicks him leaving him on the floor unconscious and they enter his room and rescue Zhang.

After Ryo and Ren find Yuanda Zhu in the Ghost Hall Building, Yuan, Dou Niu, and other Yellow Head members were following them and they capture Zhu.

At the Yellow Head Building where Zhu is held, Yuan at one point comes out a door armed with chainsaw and chases Ryo and Ren with it attempting to kill them. Once Ryo and Ren stop him, Yuan and Ryo fight hand-to-hand for the first time. After the fight, Ryo kicks Yuan into the elevator. Ren then handcuffs him inside the elevator and blackmails him with a can full of trash if he does not tell them where Zhu is. Yuan being disgusted by the trash ends up telling them that Zhu is on the 40th Floor. Even after he tells them, Ren kicks the trash can into Yuan with him screaming and being hysterically disgusted.


  • "You won't get away with this!" (Yuan flustered after Ryo defeats his men.)
  • "We meet again... I'll rip you into pieces!" (Yuan threatening to cut Ryo and Ren with his knife.)
  • "Oh, it's filthy! It stinks!" (Yuan after Ren kicks a trash can into him.)


Yuan being compulsively disgusted by filthy creatures.

Yuan hates filthy things and compulsively cleans anything dirty, messy, or smelly. He also seems to wear both men's and women's clothing as seen in the closet in his room. He is also clumsy when flustered which results in him tripping.

Yuan enjoys collecting knives and has a wall full of them in his room. He is also skilled at using knives and other weaponry such as pipes and chainsaws in combat. He is also a practitioner of the Mantis Dagger Fist.

In his room, a framed photo of Dou Niu can be seen on a table along with a small box with jewelry in it. If Ryo locks on to the box of jewelry, Ren will steal it from Yuan. He also owns a pet myna bird that repeats anything anyone says. Ren used this to his and Ryo's advantage to trick Dou Niu and escape from him when he was heading towards Yuan's room when they where rescuing Zhang.

Yuan seems to be fond of the color purple, as he thought the color of his refrigerator being purple would be perfect for his room, complaining to the apartment staff that it needed to be replaced because it wasn't the said color. He also enjoys drinking tea at the Cafe Anna and feels it's an "elegant" way to spend his time.

Yuan is also sadistic and shows signs of being mentally unstable. An example of this would be when he was willing to torture Zhang for information on Zhu. He even claims that he was going to make him "spill his guts." Finally, the chainsaw chasing scenario.


In the original Japanese version of Shenmue II on the Dreamcast, Yuan was a male transvestite or "okama" (オカマ okama) as they would use in in Japanese slang. However, the director Yu Suzuki was not sure how players outside of Japan would take a obviously gay character, so for the PAL Dreamcast version they re-recorded his lines with a Japanese actress and made him a female.[3] They also changed all of his references from "he/him" to "she/her" in the subtitles, however if you know Japanese, you should be able to hear they are indeed saying "he" when referring to Yuan. In the original Japanese version when Dou Niu says "What the hell did you do to my partner!?"(referring to Yuan), he is actually saying "What the hell did you do to my cute love thing!?". Yuan's gender change was also still intact in the English dubbed version of the game on Xbox. The English versions of the game hinted that Yuan was in a relationship with Dou Niu, while the original Japanese version directly stated it.

As revealed in a 2015 podcast with Yuan's English voice actress Lisle Wilkerson on the SEGAbits fan site, Yuan is still a transvestite in English version of Shenmue II, but SEGA Of America wanted the voice to be ambiguous as possible, to not anger western fans. They were actually having a hard time deciding whether to make him have a female voice or a male voice like the original version.[4]

Yuan's gender change could be considered censorship.

When selecting Japanese voices in Shenmue I & II, the game uses the uncensored Japanese audio, meaning Yuan has a masculine voice instead of a feminine voice. When free battling Yuan with the Japanese voices on, the game initially used the Japanese female voice during that fight, but this has been patched to use the uncensored Japanese male voice with a update on all platforms. Also when Japanese audio is selected, the English subtitles use male pronouns when referring to Yuan (Although in some instances it uses female pronouns, but this is most likely an error).

Also in Shenmue I & II, when viewing the information of a snapshot taken of Yuan, the game no longer uses female pronouns in Yuan's profile. It labels Yuan as "The executive of the Yellow Heads" instead of "She is the executive of the Yellow Heads" leaving Yuan's gender androgynous. Ryo's notebook also does not use gender specific pronouns when referring to Yuan, no matter which voice option is selected.


  • Besides Yuan's voice and references being modified between regions, there is another thing that was censored regarding the character. When Yuan chases Ryo & Ren with a chainsaw in the Yellow Head Building, and the player fails certain Quick Time Events that result in Ryo getting killed by Yuan's chainsaw, the screen originally faded out to red like blood in the original Japanese Dreamcast version. However, in the PAL Dreamcast release, this was changed to fade out to white. This change was kept in the English dubbed Xbox release. The change is also still intact in Shenmue I & II.
  • In the Japanese version, when Yuan pushes the buttons on the elevators, he's actually saying "Click." (ポチッと。). Yuan is well known for that catchphrase by Japanese fans. In the English version, he instead says "Ah, yes".
    • When Ryo asks people in Kowloon about Yuan in the Japanese version, he says things like "He's a man that's dressed like a woman, talks like a woman and acts like a woman". In the English version, he instead says things like "She's a woman with short hair and a vest" or "She has an annoying voice". The PAL Dreamcast version still has the original Japanese dialogue, but the English subtitles are censored. When Japanese voices are selected in Shenmue I & II, the English subtitles are the same as the English version, except Yuan is referred to as a "he" and not a "she".
    • When the owner of the Nine Birds Shop Yingzhi Tian describes Yuan to Ryo, in the original Japanese version he says Yuan is a "gaudily-dressed man with a really feminine way of talking", while in the English version he says "She's a strong-willed woman and she has short hair and a vest".
    • Also when Yuan is about to fight Ryo hand-to-hand for the first time in the Japanese version, he's actually saying "This time I'll use my cute hands!". In the English version, he does not say "cute". In the PAL Dreamcast version, the Japanese actress re-recorded the same line as the original, but the English subtitles don't have "cute" in the line. It's also left out in the English subtitles when Japanese voices are selected in Shenmue I & II.
  • Yuan is the first transvestite character to appear in the Shenmue series, with the second being the Flower, Bird, Wind & Moon bookie in Bailu Village Song Qun from Shenmue III.
  • Yuan's zodiac sign is Aries and he has a AB blood type.


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