Chai, one of the first game's villains, exists in Shenmue 2's files and was originally meant to be fought on the ship bound for Hong Kong. This playable section ended up being cut; instead, Ryo simply arrives in the city at the game's beginning with players none the wiser. Those playing the Xbox version, however, can unlock a comic explaining that leg of the voyage.
In the JP version, Yuan is a cross-dresser and Dou Niu's lover. The English overdub and subtitles (including on Xbox) erased most mention of this, making it seem like they're merely partners in crime. However, it's possible to tell the difference between the original dialogue and the subtitles if one understands Japanese. Lisle Wilkerson, the English voice of Yuan, confirms the character's back story hasn't changed, and how Sega of America wanted the voice to be as ambiguous as possible to avoid causing any outrage.
Cool J, the boombox-carrying thug met early in the game, was renamed Cool Z in the PAL release. This was done to avoid any similarities to rapper LL Cool J.
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