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Shenmue - Where to find sailors and win the pool shot mini-game

Where to find those elusive sailors and win a game of pool in Shenmue.

Where to find sailors in Shenmue follows on from the Three Blades quest. You'll also have the opportunity to play pool, which is an optional but easily missed mini-game.

If you're looking for help with other parts of the game, our Shenmue guide and walkthrough and list of Shenmue tips can help.

How to win the pool shot mini-game

Though it's completely optional and doesn't give you any clues, it opens up a new mini-game to play at this point in the game.

From 7pm, you can head to the MJQ Jazz Bar. This is at the far end of Dobuita, opposite Okoyama Heights.

Going inside and approach the pool table will see Ryo ask about sailors, and the two men playing challenging him to a shot for information.

Playing pool is a little confusing, since there are no controls to guide you. Press the confirm button (X on PlayStation) once to position the camera behind the white ball. To sink the shot, tap right a total of 15 times. Now press confirm again. The ball will go in the corner pocket.

Again - doing this won't win you anything, and if you fail to sink the ball, you'll actually lose 1,000 yen. If you win, you can come back and play pool again, with a variety of shots to try.

While we're here, another optional missable scene is encountering two thugs outside the Tomato Convenience Store, from the direction of Yu Arcade. It only occurs from when you pick up the sailors questline, and requires a couple of QTEs to beat it. Again, it's entirely optional, and chances are you'll come across it on your search for sailors regardless.

Where to find sailors in Shenmue

To find sailors in Shenmue, head to the Heartbeats bar. It's at the end of Dobuita where all the bars and takeaway restaurants are located. Specifically, find the Knocking Motorcycle Shop, and go down the steps opposite. You'll enter an alley with the bar.

Once you have found it, head back once it's past 7pm. A cutscene will occur, with a couple of QTEs - possibly your first taste in Shenmue. Simply press the button prompts as they come on the screen. They are:

  • Xbox, Dreamcast: B, A
  • PlayStation: Circle, X

After some more Shenmue tips? Our full Shenmue walkthrough will guide you through ever step of the main story, from the Three Blades, to where to find Charlie, Warehouse No 8 and where to use the Mysterious Key. And, of course, exactly where to find sailors. We also have pages on Shemue's various extracurricular activities, like feeding the kitten, winning forklift races, Shenmue flashback locations, a full Shenmue Trophy and Achievements and Capsule Toys lists, too. And, if you're playing the latest sequel, our Shenmue 3 walkthrough could be useful.


After the altercation with the thugs, enter the Heartbeats bar proper for another cutscene with QTEs.

  • Xbox, Dreamcast: B, A, B, A
  • PlayStation: Circle, X, Circle, X

You'll then be told to look for Charlie, a thug who wears shades and a jacket. Our page explaining where to find Charlie, the tattoo parlour and Okoyama Heights can help.

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About the Author
Matthew Reynolds avatar

Matthew Reynolds

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Matthew Reynolds edited guides and other helpful things at Eurogamer from 2010 - 2023. When he wasn't doing that, he was out and about playing Pokémon Go or continuing to amass his amiibo collection.

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