Shenmue III does a fair amount of things differently than previous games in the Shenmue series. While the other two started Ryo with a full health bar, this one only gives him half. And if you’ve hit either of the game’s first two mandatory combat encounters, you know that you’re going to want as much health as possible. But how exactly do you you raise it up in the first place? You’ve come to the right place.
The only way to raise your maximum health is, of course, to train. Depending on how you feel about these sorts of things, you might love this. Or you might think it’s a grindy mess.
There are three options for raising your health, and they’re all tied to your kung fu level. Yes, you read that right: Ryo has to level up this time. The most convenient place to handle this is the Martial Law dojo right near Shenhua’s house. You can even fast travel here from her place. It’s the option listed as “kung fu.”
So, here’s how you raise your kung fu level in Shenmue III. Ryo has two stats that will raise your level with enough experience: endurance and attack. Outside the dojo, there’s a one-inch punch training object and a horse stance object that you can interact with. Choosing to do so will begin a mini-game. For the one-inch punch, all you need to do is push a button when the two lines come together in the center of the screen. Each time you do this, your one-inch punch will level up.
The horse stance is similar, albeit more tedious. For this, you’re going to have to keep Ryo’s arms in line with a green line for a time. This is very easy, so you likely won’t have any issues. Both the one-inch punch and horse stance objects have 7 sections of 10 levels for you to master. Once you get the seventh one to 10, you can no longer train on that. You’ll also gain more experience if your health isn’t low, so make sure to eat if you need to. These two only raise your endurance level, though.
Everybody was… Ugh, nevermind
The third way to raise your health in Shenmue III is to spar with other characters, which raises your attack level. At the dojo, you can do this by talking to your master, but there are also other characters you can find throughout the area. You can set five scrolls on your loadout to master at once. You accomplish this by sparring and successfully pulling off the quick-time events at regular intervals.
If you hit most of the quick-time events correctly, you should be able to master a scroll in two sparring sessions, so they take no time at all. And you gain a single kung fu level every time you master a scroll. You earn a bit more HP every time your kung fu level goes up, which is a great reason to try and procure as many scrolls as you can.
The thing is, Shenmue III‘s fights can be rough if you haven’t stocked up on healing items, so you’re probably going to want to grab every combat scroll you can get your hands on. It’s also cool to actually need to train in a Shenmue game, so there’s that.
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