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t@~Rl (Famicom Meijin Sen)
                Famicom Master Competition

FAQ
NES 1988

Version: 1.0


Introduction (this section is courtesy of Devin Morgan)
===============================================================================

Shogi () is a game very similar to what we call Chess. There are many
similarities, but there are some noticeable differences as well. While chess
is played on a 8x8 board, Shogi is played on a 9x9 board. In chess, there are
16 pieces for each player; Shogi gives you 20. Gameplay is on a turn by turn
basis; that is, after one player makes a move, the other one goes, and so on.
There are two colors, white and black, with black always going first.


Controls:
===============================================================================
Use the A button to select a piece, the D-pad to move it and then A again to
finalize your move. Pressing B cancels anything in mid-turn. B switches the
cursor to the defeated pieces table.

If you press START the game resets the game to the main menu. You can continue
any in-progress game with the fourth option. Pressing SELECT during a game
will bring you back to the sub-menu of the modes.


Display:
===============================================================================
When you play the game, the main feature to notice is the game board in the
middle. Getting used to that is another matter, read the board basics section
for that. What is more important for you to adapt to the game is the rest of
the layout.

At the top are two timers which display the time used for thinking by each
player, the left being the top player and the right for the bottom player. The
number on the bottom left is the current number of moves and the last move
description. The small tables in the left and right right corner are for
defeated pieces. Finally, a small display at the bottom is for current
messages, such as "thinking" or "your move". If you do not understand Japanese
then simply ignore it and they are usually self-explanatory.


Modes:
===============================================================================
At the main menu you have four choices:

The leftmost mode, { is playing an original game of Shogi. There are three
sub-menu options which are playing a game of Shogi ΋1 or ΋2. Using the
'1' choice lets you play against a CPU opponent and 2 is for 2-Player mode
against another human player. That person will take their seat with the second
controller. The game automatically starts 2-Player mode but you have to select
your opponent if you are to play against the CPU. The final mode, ϐ, is
watch mode. Pick two CPU players to pit them against each other and watch how
the do. You can use this to learn strategies, opening moves or just pass the
time for your enjoyment.
1-Player mode comes with a few options to select from. There are two rows, the
first is for your handicap and the second for your color selection:
 Equal, p Bishop omission,  Rook omission,
 p Rook and Bishop omission, p Rook, Bishop and Lance omission
 White Player,  Black Player

The second mode is l which is a problem solving game. There are three
different pre-set puzzles, either three pieces, five pieces, seven pieces or
you can make your own puzzle.

The third mode is the league ([O). There are three different leagues you
can choose which feature different opposition. You have to beat them all to win
the entire tournament.

The rightmost option is Č (return) which continues a game you started
earlier.


Gameplay: (this section is courtesy of Devin Morgan)
===============================================================================

Board Setup
-----------

The typical Shogi board is set up as follows, with each side's pieces facing
towards the opponent to signify which pieces belong to which side:

 ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___
| L | KN| SG| GG| K | GG| SG| KN| L |    K = King ()
|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|    R = Rook ()
|   | R |   |   |   |   |   | B |   |    B = Bishop (ps)
|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|   GG = Gold General ()
| P | P | P | P | P | P | P | P | P |   SG = Silver General (⏫)
|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|   KN = Knight (jn)
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |    L = Lance ()
|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|    P = Pawn ()
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |
|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|
|   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |
|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|
| P | P | P | P | P | P | P | P | P |
|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|
|   | B |   |   |   |   |   | R |   |
|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|
| L | KN| SG| GG| K | GG| SG| KN| L |
|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|___|


Game Pieces/Movement
--------------------

NOTE: The "@" symbol in the diagrams below is meant to signify where the
      piece in question can make a valid movement in a turn. It should also
      be noted that in the diagrams below, "up" means forward, down is "back"
      and so on.


King: This piece is the most important one in the game. You must protect it
      since if it gets trapped by enemy pieces, you lose. It can move one
      square in any direction per turn.
       ___ ___ ___ ___ ___
      |   |   |   |   |   |
      |___|___|___|___|___|
      |   | @ | @ | @ |   |
      |___|___|___|___|___|
      |   | @ | K | @ |   |
      |___|___|___|___|___|
      |   | @ | @ | @ |   |
      |___|___|___|___|___|
      |   |   |   |   |   |
      |___|___|___|___|___|


Rook: You only get one of this piece, which is on the right side of the
      second row. It can move as far as it wants in the four directions (up,
      down, left, right).
       ___ ___ ___ ___ ___
      |   |   | @ |   |   |
      |___|___|___|___|___|
      |   |   | @ |   |   |
      |___|___|___|___|___|
      | @ | @ | R | @ | @ |
      |___|___|___|___|___|
      |   |   | @ |   |   |
      |___|___|___|___|___|
      |   |   | @ |   |   |
      |___|___|___|___|___|


Bishop: Like the Rook, you only get one of these pieces as well, and it is on
        the left side of the second row. It can move as far as it wants in
        the four diagonal directions.
       ___ ___ ___ ___ ___
      | @ |   |   |   | @ |
      |___|___|___|___|___|
      |   | @ |   | @ |   |
      |___|___|___|___|___|
      |   |   | B |   |   |
      |___|___|___|___|___|
      |   | @ |   | @ |   |
      |___|___|___|___|___|
      | @ |   |   |   | @ |
      |___|___|___|___|___|


Gold General: There are two of these pieces, starting on either side of the
              King. Its movement is interesting, in that it can move one
              square in each of the four directions, plus it can move in the
              two forward diagonal directions, but it can NOT move diagonally
              backwards.
       ___ ___ ___ ___ ___
      |   |   |   |   |   |
      |___|___|___|___|___|
      |   | @ | @ | @ |   |
      |___|___|___|___|___|
      |   | @ | GG| @ |   |
      |___|___|___|___|___|
      |   |   | @ |   |   |
      |___|___|___|___|___|
      |   |   |   |   |   |
      |___|___|___|___|___|


Silver General: Like the Gold General, you get two of these as well, and they
                start next to each Gold General. The Silver General has even
                more limited movement and a unique pattern, in that it can
                move one square diagonally in four directions or directly
                forward, but not directly to the sides or backwards.
       ___ ___ ___ ___ ___
      |   |   |   |   |   |
      |___|___|___|___|___|
      |   | @ | @ | @ |   |
      |___|___|___|___|___|
      |   |   | SG|   |   |
      |___|___|___|___|___|
      |   | @ |   | @ |   |
      |___|___|___|___|___|
      |   |   |   |   |   |
      |___|___|___|___|___|


Knight: This piece is just like the piece of the same name in regular chess.
        You have two of them, starting next to each Silver General. It is the
        only piece that can pass over other pieces without capturing them. As
        for its movement, it can go forward two squares, then one square to
        either the left or right. It cannot move to the sides or backwards.
       ___ ___ ___ ___ ___
      |   | @ |   | @ |   |
      |___|___|___|___|___|
      |   |   |   |   |   |
      |___|___|___|___|___|
      |   |   | KN|   |   |
      |___|___|___|___|___|
      |   |   |   |   |   |
      |___|___|___|___|___|
      |   |   |   |   |   |
      |___|___|___|___|___|


Lance: These are the final two pieces, which occupy the corner positions in
       the back row. The Lances are very limited, in that they can only move
       directly forward and that's it.
       ___ ___ ___ ___ ___
      |   |   | @ |   |   |
      |___|___|___|___|___|
      |   |   | @ |   |   |
      |___|___|___|___|___|
      |   |   | L |   |   |
      |___|___|___|___|___|
      |   |   |   |   |   |
      |___|___|___|___|___|
      |   |   |   |   |   |
      |___|___|___|___|___|


Pawn: You will get nine of these bottom-rank pieces, which occupy the entire
      third row. Pawns can only move forward one square per turn, that's it.
      Unlike regular Chess, Pawns can capture enemy pieces by moving forward;
      diagonal movement by this piece is not allowed.
       ___ ___ ___ ___ ___
      |   |   |   |   |   |
      |___|___|___|___|___|
      |   |   | @ |   |   |
      |___|___|___|___|___|
      |   |   | P |   |   |
      |___|___|___|___|___|
      |   |   |   |   |   |
      |___|___|___|___|___|
      |   |   |   |   |   |
      |___|___|___|___|___|


Promoting Pieces
----------------

As in Chess, if you move any of your pieces to the opposite end of the board,
they can be promoted. In Shogi, this does not only apply to Pawns; it can
apply to every piece (except the King and Gold General). A piece is valid for
promotion if you move it into the back three rows of the board (the three
rows that the enemy pieces initially occupy). When you promote a piece, it
gains more movement options, depending on the piece. Also, when you get to
the opposing side's three rows and choose to promote the piece, you flip the
piece over to reveal its new "name". These names will be listed below. Keep
in mind though, that you don't have to promote a piece because you are in the
three back rows.

If the promoted piece is a Silver General, Knight, Lance, or Pawn, its
upgraded movement will be that of a Gold General. If the piece you are
promoting is a Rook or Bishop, it will retain its original range of movement,
but it will be able to move like a King would as well.

Original Name     Kanji     Promoted Name     Kanji
-------------     -----     -------------     -----
Rook                    Dragon            
Bishop            ps      Horse             n
Silver General    ⏫      Promoted Silver   
Knight            jn      Promoted Knight   j
Lance                   Promoted Lance    
Pawn                    Tokin             Ƌ


Capturing/Dropping Pieces
-------------------------

As in Chess, the objective in Shogi is ultimately to 'capture' the opposing
player's King. Along the way, as you move your own pieces across the board,
you can capture the opposing player's pieces by making a legal move onto the
same square that an enemy piece is currently occupying. When you capture the
enemy's piece, you put it on a side table known as a komadai (܂). You
can 'drop' a captured piece onto the board, putting it under your control and
thus increasing your active forces. This kind of gameplay can work in your
favor (or against you, if the enemy does it) if done at the right times.


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