Shiren:Shiren the Wanderer
Shiren (Japanese: シレン), often known as Shiren the Wanderer (Japanese: 風来人のシレン), is the main character for the majority of the Mystery Dungeon: Shiren the Wanderer franchise. Though still relatively young, he has survived countless adventures. With his trademark bamboo kasa (Japanese: 笠) and vertical-striped cape, he's always joined by his ever-reliable partner and travel companion Koppa.
The character himself was created by Seiichiro Nagahata, with Kaoru Hasegawa designing the character. Nagahata was influenced by Kogarashi Monjirō; a Japanese novel that became popular thanks to its televised adaptation in 1972. By mistake, he covered Shiren's head during the production of Mystery Dungeon 2: Shiren the Wanderer, making his face barely visible with his kasa. Hasegawa has drawn multiple models of the protagonist, before finalizing with the one released to the public; most of them were unrecovered.
Shiren has varied in appearance throughout his games and in media with different outfits and physical appearances from time to time. However, he does maintain certain iconic "trademarks" that help our favorite protagonist stand out in each of his different incarnations. There are two iconic features that seem to hold true for all of Shiren's appearances. His first iconic feature is that he always wears a patterned cape that shares his primary coloration of grey and blue. His cape normally has straight lines of stripes but can feature slightly more intricate abstract markings akin to a zebra pattern. His second notable feature is that he always wears a kasa, a type of Japanese straw hat that also varies in appearance from game to game though it usually features a lot of open slits around the brim. Lastly is Shiren's footwear. While not really being a steadfast rule or as iconic as his other two features; whether he dons boots or waraji (Japanese sandals popular during the edo period), his leg wear usually features large staffs or flaps in their design, though this actually was not the case for his latest incarnation in Shiren the Wanderer: The Tower of Fortune and the Dice of Fate.
Along with Shiren's typical outfit styles changing appearance throughout his history, so has Shiren's physical appearance. Shiren underwent a semi-major design change with the release of Mystery Dungeon: Shiren the Wanderer 4 - The Eye of God and the Devil's Navel. Before that game, his natural eye color used to be brown and his hair color was a deep purple. With Shiren the Wanderer 4 however, his eye color has been changed to purple instead, similar to his old hair color. His current hair color also changed to a deep red burgundy. It is not known why he was given these changes to his character design, though we can surmise it was done to make his overall design stand out further with his new modernized style.
Shiren is a silent protagonist type of character. This means that his true personality is very open to everyone's own interpretation. Glimpses of his personality can be gleaned based on other characters' interactions with Shiren, as well as his own motives and actions. Shiren is at his core an adventurer. His given title as a Wanderer is not only a mere description but his lifestyle and profession as well. As a wanderer, Shiren wanders Mystery Dungeons in search of treasure. Wanderers are known to pray to the God of Travel, Kron and pursue one of mankind's rarest undertakings. They brave countless life-threatening circumstances for sheer exhilaration. Along with seeking out adventure, Shiren is often quick to come to the aid of those in need. Though we can optimistically suggest that he does this of his own accord, his assistance is often preceded by the whims of Koppa. Shiren is often pulled into helping out with various situations because Koppa wishes to. Shiren most likely doesn't mind this all too much, as Koppa has been his long-time traveling companion since his youth.
It may be inferred that Shiren is a very determined individual. Any time Shiren fails, he gets back on his feet ready to set out and try again until he accomplishes his ultimate goal. Along with his determination, there is a lot of evidence that suggests Shiren has a calm demeanor and a level head. He has been forced into a handful of unfavorable situations where lives were threatened. Shiren will hold himself back from doing anything rash in order to try and keep people safe. Allowing his enemies to have whichever advantage they seek by standing down so long as they promise not to harm his friends or allies. His caring nature can put him in some odd situations, but so far Shiren has always managed to persevere through them.
Little is known about Shiren's life up to the events of Shiren the Wanderer 2 - Shiren's Castle and the Oni Invasion His exact birth origins like birthday and location are unknown. What is known is that he is the son of Gimensha and an unnamed woman. Sensei is the brother of that woman, making him Shiren's uncle and Gimensha's brother-in-law. Sometime after his birth, before the age of 10, Shiren encountered his lifelong friend and companion Koppa the talking weasel. The amount of time he had known Koppa before their first big adventure together when Shiren was 10 years old is unknown. 13 years before Shiren the Wanderer 3: The Sleeping Princess and the Karakuri Mansion, when Shiren was 8 years old, Gimensha left Shiren and his mom in Sensei's care before apparently failing to return sometime after.
On Shiren's first adventure with Koppa, the pair had been traveling through the mountains and stumbled upon Natane Village. They decided to stop there to eat some food. While they were eating food, the village was attacked by a tribe of demons. Shiren decided then to build a castle for the village to help protect the villagers and defend them from the demon's raids. This starts the events of Shiren the Wanderer 2.
Following this event, Koppa and Shiren part ways with each other for a short period of time. During this period of time, it is unknown what Shiren is up to, though Koppa meets with Asuka who is a childhood friend of Shiren. The two have an adventure with each other, which begins the events of Mystery Dungeon: Shiren the Wanderer Gaiden - Asuka the Swordswoman. The only thing we do know regarding Shiren during these events is that they take place one year after the first game, as Shiren is 11 years old during this time.
After those events, is a largely unexplored period of time for Shiren, as his next major adventure will not happen until he is 18 years old. This also marks the first point of some confusion or major revisions that had occurred in the franchise. The next major events that occur are told within Mystery Dungeon: Shiren the Wanderer, the original game in the franchise. Koppa informs us that about 6 months prior to this game, he had run into Shiren and became fast friends with him. Shiren had been traveling around apparently in memory of his friend, and the duo decided to check out some rumors that they had been hearing regarding the divine bird of legend, The Golden Condor. Apparently, this beast resides within the lost city of gold, atop the plains of the sun high above Kobami Valley at the top of Table Mountain. The duo begins their adventure and manages to succeed in what no other wanderer has achieved thus far. They climbed to the top of Table Mountain where they found the lost city of gold, Amteca. It turns out that the city and its citizens have been destroyed and devoured by a vicious creature known as the Tainted Insect, that fed on the very Gold the city was composed of. Shortly after discovering the lost city, Shiren and Koppa do encounter a Tainted Insect and proceed to dispatch it. With the creature destroyed, they are able to actually save the divine bird of legend itself, as it was trapped in a cocoon made by the Tainted Insect. After saving the Golden Condor, it grants Shiren a ride back down to the base of the mountain where they return to the Canyon Hamlet for a short period of time, as their business here is not yet finished.
- The protagonist's father. Mentioned in The Sleeping Princess and the Karakuri Mansion
- The protagonist's uncle. Also playable in The Sleeping Princess and the Karakuri Mansion.
- Unnamed mother
- The protagonist's mother, and sister of Sensei. Mentioned in The Sleeping Princess and the Karakuri Mansion.
- Pekeji claims to be Shiren's brother in Mystery Dungeon: Shiren the Wanderer. He never offers any proof of this, even in Magic Castle of the Desert.
Pekeji's claims of being related to Shiren are unsubstantiated. Being the same age as Shiren implies that Gimensha is his father, if his claims are true.
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For more about Shiren as a character in a specific game, click through their respective links.
In Other Media
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While the series is less popular overseas than in Japan, Spike Chunsoft have made a few crossover between Shiren and its respectful series with other titles. Frequently, the protagonist makes an appearance with any character from the Danganronpa series; another franchise made by the aforementioned company.
Shiren appears as a costume in the Wii U and PlayStation 3 releases of Terraria, exclusively in Japan. It is the earliest cameo appearance of Shiren in a different video game.[Citation needed] His costume is known as the "Shiren Set" (Japanese: ふうらいにんの衣装).
The set consisis of the:
- Shiren Hat: (Japanese: さんどがさ)
- Shiren Shirt: (Japanese: ふうらいにんのふく)
- Shiren Pants: (Japanese: ふうらいにんのこしあて)
Etrian Mystery Dungeon
In Etrian Mystery Dungeon (Japanese: 世界樹と不思議のダンジョン, World Tree and Mysterious Dungeon), a costume based on Shiren is available. It is labeled as the Wanderer class.
Mystery Chronicle: One Way Heroics
Shiren appears as a DLC character in Mystery Chronicle: One Way Heroics (Japanese: 不思議のクロニクル 振リ返リマセン勝ツマデハ) among with other characters from The Tower of Fortune and the Dice of Fate.
RPG Maker MV
On December 15, 2015, an expansion pack for RPG Maker MV was announced for the PC version. It features both Shiren the Wanderer and Asuka as custom protagonists as well as elements from the series. The pack was released two days after its announcement.
Crypt of the NecroDancer
In an issue of Weekly Famitsu column on November 26, 2015, a free update for Crypt of the NecroDancer (Japanese: クリプト・オブ・ネクロダンサー) was announced then released in Japan on January 18, 2016 and Worldwide on August 22, 2017 on Steam and later released for PS4 and PS Vita on September 5, 2017. It features characters from the Danganronpa, Kenka Bancho: Badass Rumble and Shiren the Wanderer series. Both Shiren the Wanderer and Asuka were made available as character skins. The update works even if you do not own any DLC.
Etrian Mystery Dungeon 2
Like in the previous title, in Etrian Mystery Dungeon 2 (Japanese: 世界樹と不思議のダンジョン2, World Tree and Mysterious Dungeon 2) a costume based on Shiren is available. It is also labeled as the Wanderer class.
Seikimatsu Days: Our Era's End
Shiren appears as a pre-registration character in Seikimatsu Days: Our Era's End (Japanese: 世紀末デイズ). On July 5, 2018, he was announced to be a bonus character in the game if it hit fifty thousand pre-registration, as seen on their milestone event rewards behind many other bonuses.
Katana Kami: A Way of the Samurai Story
Announced on November 20, 2019 via 4gamer, a DLC pack for the game Katana Kami: A Way of the Samurai Story (Japanese: 侍道外伝 KATANAKAMI, Samurai Gaiden KATANAKAMI) entitled "Wanderer Set" (Japanese: 風来人セット) was announced for first-print copies. The DLC includes blueprints for both weapons. It was released with the game on February 20, 2020 and available for free from February 20 to 27, 2020.. In a later announcement, the DLC was made available and purchasable on June 4, 2020.
The DLC consists of:
- Wanderer Set (Japanese: 風来人セット)
- Wanderer Outfit (Japanese: 風来人の衣装と刀を追加)
- Wanderer Hat (Japanese: 風来人の三度笠（装飾品）)
- Wanderer Cape (Japanese: 風来人の道中合羽（装飾品）)
- Wanderer Itachi (Japanese: 風来人のイタチ（装飾品）)
- Kabra's Blade (Japanese: マンジカブラ)
- Kabra Reborn (Japanese: カブラステギ)
AI: The Somnium Files – nirvanA Initiative
The character Tama can wear Shiren's kasa occasionally.
Shiren himself appears in AI: The Somnium Files – nirvanA Initiative (Japanese: AI: ソムニウム ファイル ニルヴァーナ イニシアチブ) as a Kusemon to be used in fights, inspired by the Pokémon series. When the egg is found, it hatches and the "[SC]Wanderer" card is added to the player's team. Shiren has a Kabra Reborn+99 in this game, the last upgrade of the Kaburagi Family weapons.
- Shiren is one of three characters to be directly mentioned in the name of the Shiren game. The other two are Asuka and Surala.
- His childhood in Shiren 2 made reappearance in the Tower of the Past of Shiren the Wanderer: The Tower of Fortune and the Dice of Fate. Also, his old man appearance made for the first time in the Tower of the Future.
In Other Languages
- Information and description taken from the English Shiren the Wanderer 3 Wii English manual.
- Hotate, Inaba; TAITAI; Hizume, Akiyoshi (July 3, 2016). 「不思議のダンジョン」の絶妙なゲームバランスは、たった一枚のエクセルから生み出されている！？スパイク・チュンソフト中村光一氏と長畑成一郎氏が語るゲームの「編集」 (ja). Denfaminicogamer. Retrieved on August 17, 2023.
- 『風来のシレン』の制作陣が語る！ 新世代ローグライクゲーム『世紀末デイズ』の魅力とは (ja) (July 9, 2018). Retrieved on August 17, 2023.
- Shiren set. Terraria Wiki. Retrieved on October 24, 2020.
- PC「RPGツクール MV」購入者特典が公開！ドワンゴジェイピーストアでは「風来のシレン」のシレンとアスカの素材が付属 (ja). Gamer.ne (November 30, 2015). Retrieved on October 24, 2020.
- Huge FREE Chipzel and Danganronpa update!. Steam (September 5, 2017). Retrieved on October 24, 2020.
- Crypt of the NecroDancer on Twitter. Twitter (August 22, 2017). Retrieved on October 24, 2020. "The Chipzel and Danganronpa free update is now live for PS4 and Vita! Our apologies for the wait."
- CeeZee (July 5, 2018). Seikimatsu Days: Our Era's End Pre-Registration Launched!. Gamer Braves. Retrieved on October 24, 2020.
- 「侍道外伝 KATANAKAMI」の発売日が2020年2月20日に決定。購入特典は「名刀5本セット」「風来人セット」のDLC2種 (ja). 4gamer (November 20, 2019). Retrieved on October 24, 2020.
- Alistair Wong (November 21, 2019). Way of the Samurai Spinoff Katanakami Gets February 20 Release Date And Shiren First-Print DLC. SiliconEra. Retrieved on October 24, 2020.
- Alex Flagg (February 13, 2020). Katana Kami: A Way of the Samurai Story Hits PS4 February 20, Free DLC to Follow. PlayStation Blog. Retrieved on October 24, 2020.
- 【侍道外伝 KATANAKAMI公式】 on Twitter (ja). Twitter (June 4, 2020). Retrieved on October 24, 2020. "【お知らせ】
- Name sourced from the Nintendo eShop's description for The Tower of Fortune and the Dice of Fate.
- Name sourced from numerous unofficial translation patches.