One afternoon in Spring, a humble farmboy named Mah Jongg was carrying eggs to the village market. A man with a gray beard and a long white pigtail appeared from behind a rock. "Young man," said the Wlse One, "not far from here there lives the evil dragon. Go to its den and grab hold of the scaled back. The dragon will change form. No matter what happens, no matter how frightened you become, do not let go your hold until the dragon surrenders to you. Only good will come of this." Then the old man vanished as suddenly as he appeared.
Mah Jongg did as the Old One said. He sneaked into the dragon's den and took hold of the dragon's scaled back. The surprised dragon immediately changed into a hawk with a sharp beak and tearing talons. The boy did not let go. The dragon changed into a beautiful butterfly, a slippery fish, and a hungry bear. Still Mah Jongg held on. Even when the dragon took the forms of a poisonous spider and a snapping turtle, the brave farm boy held tightly to its back. Finally, exhausted, the dragon returned to its original form and surrendered to the boy. From that time on, the dragon brought nothing but good luck and great harvests to the people of the province, Mah Jongg most of all.
Years later, the game of Shanghai was developed to remind the people of this event. It is said that anybody who can solve the puzzle in all its forms will receive a piece of the Luck of the Dragon. You are about to enter the realm of Shanghal -- one of the most absorbing computer experiences you'll ever encounter.
It's believed that Mah-Jongg was first played by sailors and fishermen as a diversion from the monotony of long ocean voyages. Although it began as a card game, the cards eventually gave way to bone and bamboo tiles, which were less likely to fly off the decks.
In the 1920s, during Prohibition, Mah-Jongg took the United States by storm, turning unsuspecting gamesters into ivory tile addicts.
Now we bring you an all-new version of this former obsession of sailors, scoundrels, flappers, and moonlighters. As Shanghai.
Warning: Do not touch the game card connector pins. Do not expose the contacts to static or extreme heat. Do not bend, crush, or attempt to clean the game card.
Note: The tiles you see on your screen may differ slightly from the illustrations shown here.
White Dragons associated with Dots. Red Dragons associated with Craks. Green Dragons associated with Bams.
The puzzle is built by mixing the tiles and placing them in stacks from one to five tiles high. The stacks get taller toward the center of the puzzle.
On the screen your view of the puzzle is from above it. You can see only the top tile on each stack, but you can tell how high a stack is by looking at the color of the tile on top. Higher tiles are darker than lower tiles.
For example: from the top, the Dragon puzzle looks like this:
From the left and right, the Dragon looks like this:
A free tile will be outlined when you select it. If a tile is not free, it will not be outlined.
That is, an East Wind can only be paired with another East Wind, a Three of Dots can only be paired with another Three of Dots, and so on.
If the tiles are not identical, your computer will not allow you to choose them and a sound will tell you that they donit match.
But there are exceptions.
Any two Seasons may be removed as a pair, and any two Flowers may be removed as a pair. For example, Winter matches Autumn, and Orchid matches Plum. Seasons and Flowers do not match.
In a two-player game, each players arrow looks red on his own Lynx system, but yellow to the opponent. For detailed instructions on each of the three versions of Shanghai, see the list below.
Solitaire This game is for one player only. Remove as many tiles as possible. The number of tiles remaining in the puzzle is displayed along with the elapsed time. When the game ends, the top five scores attained for that puzzle during this play session appear in the Best Scores list. If your score qualifies, it will appear in the list.
Two-player Alternating Competitive Two players take turns removing pairs of tiles from the same puzzle. Each player has 10 seconds in which to take his turn. If a player does not remove a pair of tiles within the 10-second limit, play goes back to the other player. The player who removes the most tiles wins. Your score displays along with the time remaining in the current turn.
Simultaneous Competitive Two players remove tiles from the same puzzle, at the same time. A player can either select his own pair of tiles or match the other players selected tile. Each player can deselect his own selections by pressing B. Your score displays red while your opponents score is yellow. The player who removes the most tiles wins.
Cooperative Both players work together to clear the puzzle as quickly as possible. Each player looks for pairs as in the solitaire game. Also, If one player selects a tile, the other player can select the matching tile. Either player can deselect any selected tile. Only one pair can be selected at a time. For example, if one player selects the East Wind, either that player or the other player must find another East Wind tile -- the other player cannot try to select Bamboo and Orchid while the first player searches for the other East Wind. The number of tiles remaining in the puzzle displays along with the elapsed time.
Note: In two-player games, players may only go to the option menu at specific times. In an Alternating Competitive game, you can only go the menu during your own turn. In the other two-player modes, either player can bring up the option menu, but only the player who did so can use the options.
To select an option, point the arrow at an option in the option menu and press A.
The following list explains each option.
Hint highilghts one available tile. It is up to you to find its match. You are not penalized for using the Hint option; however, the suggested move is not necessarily the best one. The Hint option is only available in Solitaire and Cooperative games.
Show Best Scores displays the Best Scores screen. The Best score screen for the puzzle you are playing appears. You can also view the scores for other puzzles by pressing the joypad until the desired Best Score screen appears. Press A or B to continue.
Note: During two-player Alternating or Simultaneous games, both players' scores display on the game screen instead of the Best Scores. Your score is red. Your opponent's score is yellow.
Change Tile Display Changes the appearance of the tiles. Tlles can appear either as a number with a small, colored symbol or as a Chinese symbol. Use the display option you prefer.
Restart Same Game Restart the game with the original tile arrangement.
Select New Game Start a new game. If you select the same puzzle, the tiles will be arranged differently.
Return to Game Resume the game where you left off, with all the same options.
Learn to play each puzzle. Each layout has its own challenges.
Concentrate on the tiles that block the most moves. These include single tiles that block two tiles and tiles on the highest stack in the center of the Puzzle. Try to remove these tiles first.
Watch for identical tiles that are next to each other. If you remove the other pair of these tiles, the puzzle may become impossible.
Always check for triples. If you've found a pair to remove, look for a third (and fourth) free tile that also matches. If you take two out of three matching tiles, make sure the one you leave is blocking the fewest important tiles. If you're not sure what to do with a triple, leave it and make another move instead.
If you do see all four tiles of one kind free at once, remove them so they're out of your way.
Look ahead as many moves as you can. This prevents you from making a move that may block a future move.