Nozomi, the erstwhile love interest of Shenmue's Ryo Hazuki, has lived a virtual life of ignominy. All she wanted in life was to form a meaningful connection before leaving the town of Yokosuka to live in Canada, but she had the misfortune to fall for the most oblivious teenage boy in the world, who simply failed to notice her overt advances.
And now news has come out that she was ruled out for inclusion in Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing. "She was going to ride on the back of Ryo's bike," executive producer Steve Lycett allegedly said in a Sonic Stadium forum post, "but there was the small issue of where does she go when the Forklift appears."
Because, while having the martial arts student on a quest for vengeance in the mascot racing game is a perfectly sensible move, it would simply have been silly for his friend to disappear when his motorcycle was replaced by a forklift in the middle of a race.
In an earlier post, Lycett mentioned that Saturn mascot Segata Sanshiro was also considered for inclusion, but rejected. We would suggest that if Segata didn't work in this game, Sumo Digital should start over, and keep trying until it arrives at a game design that includes Segata Sanshiro.
Of course, it should be noted that Lycett also coyly downplayed rumors of Banjo and Kazooie's inclusion in the Xbox 360 version of the game, so anything he says should be met with a measure of skepticism.