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Shanghai - Atari Lynx - Atari     HTML Manual   

Shanghai - THE SUBDUING OF THE DRACON

Long ago, when mystical powers still roamed the Earth, a powerful dragon brought 
fear and terror to the lands around Shanghai. The emperor promised riches and 
glory to the hero who could defeat the dragon. Many brave warriors tried. All 
failed. The few who survived brought back tales of the dragon's magical 
shape-shifting. Whenever a warrior seemed to gain the upper hand in pitched 
battle, the dragon changed shape: sometimes a turtle, a bear, a butterfly -- 
there seemed to be no limit to the dragon's magic.
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.

THE HISTORY
Shanghai is based on an ancient Chinese game called Mah-Jongg, the origins of 
which are as mysterious as the game itself. Some historians date it as far back 
as the time of Confucius, over 25 centuries ago.
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.

GETTING STARTED
Shanghai is a captivating game of skill and strategy for one or two players. 
Follow the steps listed below to start the game:
  With your Lynx system(s) switched off, insert the game card(s) as described in 
  the Lynx owner's Manual. 
  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.
  Press ON. If two players will compete, each should press ON at about the same 
  time. 
  The title screen appears. If two Lynx systems are properly connected with the 
  Comlynx cable, the words "2 Players" will appear at the bottom of the screen. 
  Press A or B to continue. If you don't press a button, the credits will show 
  across the top of the screen until you do press a button. After you press a 
  button, the Select Game screen appears. 
  Use the joypad to select a puzzle. Pressing the joypad in any direction will 
  move to a different puzzle option. There are seven puzzle options: Dragon, 
  Hawk, Butterfly, Fish, Bear, Spider, and Turtle. Choose the puzzle you wish to 
  solve by pressing A or B when that puzzle appears on the screen. A single 
  player game begins immediately. If you would like to view the onscreen 
  instructions, press OPTION 1 from the Select Game screen. 
  For a two-player game, the Game Type screen appears. Select the game type 
  (described later in this manual) by using the joypad to point the arrow at the 
  desired game type. Press A or B to start the game. 

Optional Game Controls
To enhance play, the following optional game controls allow you to modify the 
display, and pause and restart the game: 
  To flip the screen 180 degrees and reverse the controls, press OPTION 2 and 
  PAUSE at the same time. 
  To pause the game press PAUSE. Repeat to resume play. 
  To return to the title screen press OPTION 1 and PAUSE. 
  To view additional game options, press OPTION 1 during the game. 
  To change tunes or turn the music off, press OPTION 2. (From the Title screen 
  or Select Game screen, this turns the music on or off. During the game, it 
  selects one of four tunes or no tune.)

THE TILES
There are 144 Shanghai tiles in all: 108 suit tiles, 12 Dragon tiles, 16 Winds, 
4 Seasons, and 4 Flowers.
Note: The tiles you see on your screen may differ slightly from the 
illustrations shown here.
The Suit of Dots
This suit dates back to the original sailor's game. With its resemblance to 
coins in other ancient games, it probably represents the root of all evil, 
money.
 
The Suit of Bam
Bam stands for bamboo. Because bamboo was often used in the ancient Orient to 
make deadly spears, it is thought that this suit represents victory or power.
 
The Suit of Crak
Also called Characters or Actors, Craks may represent actual people or simply 
the characters that make up the Chinese alphabet.
 
The Dragons
In ancient Mah-Jongg, each of the three suits was associated with a Dragon.
	White Dragons 	associated with Dots.
	Red Dragons 	associated with Craks.
	Green Dragons 	associated with Bams.
 
The Winds
There's nothing hidden in the symbolism of these four tiles. They represent just 
what you'd think: the Four Winds of the World.
 
The Seasons
Another straightforward representation, added to the game by river gamblers: the 
Four Seasons of the Year.
 
The Flowers
The four flowers -- Orchid, Plum, Mum, and Bamboo -- were introduced by a 
medieval princess to add an element of beauty and romance to the game.
 
THE PUZZLES
The 144 tiles are laid out in the puzzle formation you chose. Each formation 
requires its own strategy. The position of every tile is always random, making 
each puzzle unique. You'll soon find that some are more formidable than others. 
But they're all equally engrossing.
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:
 
THE OBJECT
The object of the game is to remove as many tiles as possible from the screen by 
matching pairs.
THE RULES
The rules are simple. You can remove only free tiles, two tiles at a time.
Removing Pairs of Tiles
Move the arrow to a free tile and press A -- that tile will be outlined -- then 
select a matching tile in the same way. If both tiles are free, they will slide 
off the screen.
Undo a Tile Selection
To deselect a tile, press B. 
Free Tiles
Any tile is considered free if there is nothing on top of it and if it can slide 
out to the left or right if the tiles on both sides of it are stacked to the 
same height, that tile is not free.
 
A free tile will be outlined when you select it. If a tile is not free, it will 
not be outlined.
Matching Pairs
You can remove a pair of tiles only if they're identical.
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.
The Exceptions
There are two sets of four tiles that need not match. These are the Seasons and 
the Flowers.
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.

END OF CAME
The game ends when all tiles are removed or when no more moves are available.

THE FOUR WAYS TO PLAY
Shanghai gives you four ways to play: one player Solitaire or two-player 
Alternating Competitive, Simultaneous Competitive, or cooperative.
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.

THE OPTION MENU
The Option menu, accessible by pressing OPTION 1 during the game, allows you to 
access various game options.
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.

STRATEGY
Start with the Dragon puzzle. It is not necessarily easy, but the strategy is a 
little easier because the original tile layout is less complicated.
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.

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