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In Shenmue III, one of the minigames where Ryo Hazuki can earn money is chopping wood for a few of the NPCs. While playing this minigame I've noticed occasionally the words 'Very Good' or 'Excellent' appear on screen, accompanied by a strong reverb added to the sound of the axe striking the wood and the music changes from a relaxing song to a more intense one. What is the criteria and are there any benefits for these ratings?

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You have to chop the wood directly in the centre to achieve a "Very Good" chop. If you hit three "Very Good" chops in a row, then it becomes an "Excellent" chop. The streak of "Excellent" chops will continue until you don't hit it dead centre anymore.

I don't know exact numbers, but I found I would definitely earn more money if I achieved a good number of "Very Good"/"Excellent" chops.

Something I found useful was to follow Ryo's eyes to determine when you were facing the exact centre of the log.

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    The info regarding the ratings seems to correspond with my observations from the game itself and also a few videos I've seen, so I've accepted this as the answer. I do hope to be able to find more concrete info on how much of a yuan increase these ratings grant.
    – cteski
    Jan 9, 2020 at 18:27

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