"""~"""~"""~"""~"""~"""~"""~"""~"""~"""~"""~"""~"""~"""~"""~"""~"""~"""~"""~"""

                        Tamura Koushou Mahjong Seminar

FAQ
NES 1990

Version 1.0

A huge portion of this guide were written by barticle. All credits go to him
for the game-specific rules.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
                              TABLE OF CONTENTS
===============================================================================

01.) Introduction                                                 |  G0100  | 
02.) Basics                                                       |  G0200  |
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
03.) Strategies                                                   |  G0300  |
04.) Rules                                                        |  G0400  |
05.) Scoring                                                      |  G0500  |
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
YY.) Links                                                        |  GYY00  |
ZZ.) Credits & Thanks                                             |  GZZ00  |

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

===============================================================================
01.)                    INTRODUCTION                                 G0100
===============================================================================

Welcome to 'Tamura Koushou Mahjong Seminar' for the NES, released by Pony
Canyon in 1990. The game is adorsed by Tamura Koushou, a famous Mahjong player
at the time.

This guide is about the popular Japanese version of the ancient board game,
called "Reach Mahjong". It has many complex rules. If you know Mahjong from
other nationalities or varieties, it is not simply easy to switch over to this
version but it does help to know the basic things already.

Some parts of the guide use Shift-JIS to represent Japanese characters in
ASCII. To display them properly you may have to switch your brower's encoding
manually.

Suggestions, comments or errors - tell me about it. Enjoy!


===============================================================================
02.)                    BASICS                                       G0200
===============================================================================

Controls:
`````````
Use A to confirm selections, you can also use START. In-game you use A as an
action command and B to show the current score as well as the round's dora.
When you get the choice to steal, the specific tile in the middle will flash.
It will always do this if you get the chance to build something in your tiles
but you usually do not want to go for that. In that case you just press A and
move on, else you move the command to steal and take the the tile. More on 
this is explained in the later sections. When you get to "reach" stage you must
first announce it. This is done with a small betting stick. Once you set this
with the UP or DOWN button you must throw a tile away and then the game will
tell you which tile(s) you are waiting for to win the round. This all might
sound complication now but once you understand the basic rules then these
controls should make sense to you as well.


Menu:
`````

The first menu you see is the save/load option. At this point you can pick to
continue from an earlier session or just start a new game. The lower options
are to modify your state.

Once you get the main menu you have four options.

1: This plays against the CPU which is always going to be on training level.
2: This plays against the CPU in a more advance match.
3: Here you are asked 10 questions about Mahjong, something you should have
   learnt from your previous experience with the game.
4: In this final mode you can select your opponents from the list. There are
   only these combinations available.


Mahjong Rules:
``````````````
First you will need to learn the basics of how to play Mahjong - the board and
tiles themselves. This can be done online, they are almost always the same
descriptions. However, don't look into those Solitaire games (where you pick
pairs from the board) as they include extra tiles not used be the original
multiplayer game, such as the dragons and flowers.

Here is a short run-down of the tiles. Note that these have an order, from
either lower number or highest (and then back to 1) or the stated order of the
Honor tiles. There are 4 of each tile which makes for 136 in total.

Suits
`````
Wan:  From 1 to 9, they representes 10,000s each.
Tong: From 1 to 9, they represent coins.
Suo:  From 1 to 9, the represent bamboo sticks. The first one is a bird
      instead, traditionally a sparrow but most tiles don't show that.

Honor
`````
Winds: East - South - West - North; White - Green - Red.

The honor tiles are said to have 'value', which always includes the three
colors but only affects the wind directions according to the current round's
wind and your own seat's wind.

There are NO dragon pictures, NO flowers or any other fancy tiles in the game,
these are made up for variations and the solitaire game. If you hear the terms
dragon and flower used in the game then they will point to something else but
to avoid confusion let's just ignore this for now.


Next you have to get used to the board. It's just a table if you will, with
one players sitting at one side each. You must have four players to begin. Of
course in this game you only play against three computer opponents. There are
136 tiles and everyone gets 13. The rest is set up as a 'dead wall' where you
draw with each turn. By taking one extra tile you total is 14, which is the
amount required to finish your game. You only have this amount temporarily as
you will discard another one at the end of your turn (unless you win in that
turn).


Before we begin, here is the display the game has to offer. The top left is the
dealer's character. It is one of the directions, as the board is set up that
each player is one direction. The dealer is important for who starts the game
and some extra scoring considerations. More on that in another section. The
number next to that is the round you are in. There are often two small sticks
next to the round number which represents dealer ante (tsumi). The four players
are displayed in rows, unlike most games that will have it set up on each side.
You are at the bottom. The rows above each player will be used for discared
tiles as you will soon see. Each player starts with 27,000 points. Actually it
is 30,000 like in many Mahjong games, but everyone has already anted 3,000 for
the winner at the end. The only thing left to explain is the top left. The
number next to the dead wall is how many tiles left until the round is forced
to finish. If nobody has won by then, it is called a draw.

You may have noticed one tile in the dead wall, three tiles from the left. This
is called a Joker, or 'dora'. It is used for different purposes in different
variations of the game. In the Japanese game, and this one, it is only useful
for getting an extra score. However, do note that this just an indicator as in
fact the NEXT one in line is the dora. You should know from the tile
explanation, if the number is 1 Wan then the dora is actually 2 Wan. If the
tile displays 9 wan then the dora is 1 wan and so on. For the honor tiles it
also follows this way, going from the order of wind to the last 'zhong' and
back to the winds. For example, a white tile would mean the dora is green. As
I've mentioned before, this is just for scoring so ignore it if you do not care
too much about that right now.


So now let's actually get started in playing. With a player's turn, he or she
takes a new tile from the dead wall. Your aim is to win the game by building
melds out of the 14 tiles you have when it is your turn. Melds include several
different forms:

Pon: Three of the same tile, such as three East or three 2 Wan.
(also called Pong in some variations)

Kan: Four of the same tile, such as four East and four 2 Wan. You can build a
     Kan out of the three you have made already. In that case you will get to
     draw an extra new tile as bonus.
(also called Kong in some variations)

Shang: Three suited tiles in sequence, such as 1 Wan, 2 Wan, 3 Wan.
(also called Chow in some variations)

Pair: Two of the same tile, such as two East or two 2 Wan.
(also called Jiang or Yan or Eye)

The game automatically sorts your hand for the correct order. The newly drawn
tile will be on the right side. If you decide to keep the new tile it re-sorts
the list afterwards. To finish your turn you must discard one tile or declare
you are the winner. Select the tile you want to discard with the LEFT or RIGHT
directions and press A. If you have all your tiles making up for 4 melds and
one Pair you have a winning hand and potentially are the winner. But not so
fast!


The game's mini-menu is displayed on the left of the discard tiles. Here they
are in ASCII as well. Use UP and DOWN on the controller to get the selections
to change. The terminology you must get used to are the following terms:

Discard:
           @@@@@@
 @@@@@@@               @@          @
     @@@  @@@@@@@@@     @@       @@
    @@@       @     @    @@    @@@
   @@@        @     @     @      @
  @@ @@      @@     @     @      @
 @@   @@    @@      @     @      @

Riichi:
@    @                   @@@@
@    @                @@@
@    @              @@   @
@    @                   @
    @     @@@@@@@@  @@@@@@@@@@
   @                     @
 @@                     @

Self-Win - Tsumo:
@  @   @  @@@@@@@@@
@  @   @      @
@  @   @  @@@@@@@@@
      @       @
     @        @
    @          @
@@@@            @@@

Kan:
 @        @@@@   
@@@@@@@         @
 @    @        @@
 @    @       @@
 @    @      @@
 @    @     @@
@@   @@   @@@

Ron:
@@@@@@@@@ @@@@
@       @       @
@       @      @@
@       @     @@
@       @    @@
@       @   @@
@@@@@@@@@ @@@

Shang:
     @@@@
   @@@
 @@  @
     @
@@@@@@@@@@ @@@@@@@@
     @
    @

Decline:
@  @   @      @   @
@  @   @  @@@@@@@@@ @
@  @   @      @
      @   @@@@@@@@@
     @        @
    @         @
@@@@          @

Pon:
   @      @@@@
   @  @         @
@@@@@@@@       @@
   @          @@
@  @  @      @@
@  @  @     @@
@  @  @   @@@


There are two mini-menus. One is after you have drawn a tile from the wall.

Discard: Discard the currently select tile.
Riichi: Call Riichi and discard a tile. If you don't actually have any claim
        on this it will remove your bet. Read more about this soon.
Kan:    Build a kan out of four tiles you have, or out of the three you already
        set aside in a Pon and want to add an additional one.
Self-Win - Tsumo: For declaring you are the winner, if possible.

Discard is the default action as you mainly use this. To move to another tile
in your hand, first return to the Discard option and then move RIGHT and LEFT
like you would normally. 

Sometimes you are offered to take a tile another player has discarded. This is
when you can use this tile to build a meld. The other menu is when you have the
opportunity to steal a tile:

Kan: Build a kan with this tile.
Ron: Win by stealing with this tile.
Shang: Build a shang with this tile.
Decline: Don't steal and draw a new tile instead.
Pon: Build a Pon with this tile.

If you decide to steal then it will be set aside on the right and shown to the
other players. Do note that this means you miss out on a 'self-win'. You will
know why in a second. For each steal the game asks which one you want to
create. When you are offered to steal, there is a blue border around that tile
and the game will wait until you make the appropriate choice from the mini-
menu. You can also simply press B to not steal.


In more details. One way to win is to wait until you need one more tile and
steal it from another player. In that case you do not declare a steal for a
meld, but for a win which is called 'Ron'. You still build a meld, but this is
for the last meld you need and therefore complete the entire hand.

Another way to win is the declare a 'riichi' with the 2nd last tile you
discard. You will bet 1000 and declare that you only need 1 more tile to win
the game. At this point you can no longer discard any previous tiles. You can
also see opponents betting on this quite often. The tile they throw away with
the bet will have a purple line underneath. The game will automatically draw
and discard the new tiles until you get one that wins the game as you are in a
'tenpai' state, which means "listening to tiles". You will then only need to
declare a 'self-win' aka 'tsumo' once you get this tile. You can only Riichi
when you have not declared any melds so far. Many players will try to retain
from declaring melds to keep their winning hand options open and obviously not
wanting to show other players their tiles.

Let's say you have set aside melds already. Then you cannot Riichi any longer.
As you work on your tiles, eventually you will also end up at only requiring
one just like when you would normally declare a Ron.  At this point you may use
Ron to steal the last tile to win the round if your hand allows it. See the
rules for more details.


The turns will continue until either one player wins, the game is declared a
draw or you run out of tiles on the dead wall. Next up read the strategies to
give you more on how to play better. To fully understand the hands you should
read the rules and then you might want to check out how the scoring works.


If a player lost all the money, it will simply go into the red and continue
counting down when more losses are incurred.

At the end of all rounds, the final scores are revealed. The player with the
most amount of points will get the ante pot from the beginning (4 x 3,000 =
12,000).


Additional Rules...:
(...you may want to know but only clutter the vital info.)

If everyone discards the same tile at their first turn, the game is a draw.
This happens more often than you think, as many throw away winds or other Honor
tiles.

After someone has stolen a tile, the play begins at that player, not the last
person who discard the tile. This could mean skipping one or two turns for
those players but it should even out over the course of the game.

The small dealer ante sticks are used for additional scoring. The stick with a
single dot in the middle represents 1,000 (10 times 100) where as the one with
8 small dots is a 100 stick. Should the dealer stay the same for more than one
game, he bets 100 which is then shown there. The dealer gets 3x back for
winning. It comes from the tile discarder if stolen or split from everybody
when self-drawn. If a non-dealer wins, the dealer simply takes the bet back. If
the game is drawn and another dealer takes over, the pot stays and moves on to
the next person.


===============================================================================
03.)                    STRATEGIES                                   G0300
===============================================================================

What you will see is that most players throw away the Honor tiles unless they
already have two. You cannot steal to make a Pair, and these are very hard to
collect. Play one round and you will notice everyone dumping Wind, White, Red
and Green tiles all over the place. If somebody steals one to make a Pon or
even Kan, that's pretty good, just doesn't happen often enough to hang on
these. It is more feasible to collect suits.

For the suits, keep tiles that are close together. Let's say you have a 2, 4
and 8, dump the 8. It is very unlikely to turn into a meld. Similarly, if you
have the choice between throwing away 4 and 9, throw the 9. 9 is what is called
an edge tile as you can only use it for a Pon/Kan or a very unlikely Shang with
7 and 8.

Like counting cards, counting tiles is great too. If you keep track of what
others discard you will be able to calculate how many of one tile are still
available to be discarded or drawn from the dead wall.

14 tiles make for 7 pairs. This is a special method to win. You will most
likely attempt this if you start out with many pairs. It isn't as uncommon to
see and likely achieve at that point. Note that you cannot have four of a kind
and call them 2 pairs each, they must be unique.

If you have a sequence of 3, 5, 6, then do not bother keeping the 3 around.
5 and 6 have higher chances to complete the sequence and if you get 4, then 3
isn't necessary anyway.


Even with these basic strategies you should be winning rounds. However, to
really be good at the game you must learn the rules of how the hands are being
won.


===============================================================================
04.)                    RULES                                        G0400
===============================================================================

These are not the game rules, but what kind of hands can be made to win the
round. As the game ends the scoring screen will show the score multipliers
called 'fan' the winner has achieved. These are the most commonly used rule
sets in Riichi-Mahjong:

Name: Name of the hand, either closely or loosely translated. 
Fan: How many extra multiplier are added for this hand.
O/C: Open (steals are allowed) or Closed (no steals allowed or possible)
Description: Details about the hand, any specific rules or variations.


o-----------------------------------------------------------------------------o
| Name:        | Fan | O/C | Description:                                     |
|--------------+-----+-----+--------------------------------------------------|
| Riichi       |  1  |  C  | When you only require one more tile after        |
| 立直         |     |     | discarding the next one, you are ready to wait   |
|              |     |     | for the win. Until then you cannot do anything   |
|              |     |     | but discard the new tile unless a kan possible   |
|              |     |     | that doesn't change your required tile.          |
|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------|
| Win 1 round  |  1  |  C  | Once you declar Riichi, win at the next turn     |
| after Riichi |     |     | without anyone creating melds.                   |
| 一発         |     |     |                                                  |
|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------|
| Strong       |  1  |  C  | Win without stealing nor opening your hand.      |
| Self-Win     |     |     |                                                  |
| 門前自摸     |     |     |                                                  |
|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------|
| Simple Melds |  1  |  O  | Only using suit tiles from 2 to 8, thus no 1s,   |
| 断ヤオ九     |     |     | 9s or Honor tiles.                               |
|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------|
| Peace        |  1  |  C  | 4 Shang and one pair that does not have value.   |
| 平和         |     |     |                                                  |
|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------|
| Double Shang |  1  |  C  | 2 Shang that are identical, e.g. 2, 3, 4 Wan     |
| 一盃口       |     |     | twice.                                           |
|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------|
| Last Draw    |  1  |  O  | Win on the final draw.                           |
| 海底摸月     |     |     |                                                  |
|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------|
| Last Discard |  1  |  O  | Win on the final discard.                        |
| 河底撈魚     |     |     |                                                  |
|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------|
| Kan-Win      |  1  |  O  | Win by creating a Kan by stealing the tile.      |
| 槍槓         |     |     |                                                  |
|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------|
| Kan-Bonus-Win|  1  |  O  | Win with the tile you receive after creating a   |
|  嶺上開花    |     |     | Kan.                                             |
|=============================================================================|
| 3-Color Shang|  1  |  O  | 3 Shang that are identical in three different    |
| 三色同順     |  2  |  C  | suits.                                           |
|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------|
| Straight     |  1  |  O  | 3 Shang using 1 suit from 1 to 9, i.e. 1->3,     |
| 一気通かん   |  2  |  C  | 4->6, 7->9.                                      |
|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------|
| Mixed Edge   |  1  |  O  | Each meld has either a 1, 9 or Honor tile.       |
| 全帯         |  2  |  C  |                                                  |
|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------|
| Terminals    |  1  |  O  | Melds consisting of Pons, Kans and a Pair where  |
| 混老頭       |  2  |  C  | each one is either 1s, 9s or Honor tiles.        | 
|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------|
| Double Riichi|  2  |  C  | Declare Riichi with your first turn. No-one else |
| ダブルリーチ |     |     | must have stolen so far.                         |
|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------|
| 7 Pairs      |  2  |  C  | 14 tiles make for 7 pairs. You cannot steal for  |
| 七対子       |     |     | obvious reasons.                                 |
|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------|
| All Melds    |  2  |  O  | Only melds and a pair.                           |
| 対々和       |     |     |                                                  |
|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------|
| Three Melds  |  2  | O/C | 3 melds that aren't open (stolen), the rest of   |
| 三暗刻       |     |     | the hand may be stolen, eg the 4th meld.         |
|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------|
| Three Same-  |  2  |  O  | Three meld that each contain at least one of the |
| Number Melds |     |     | same number.                                     |
| 三色同刻     |     |     |                                                  |
|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------|
| 3 Kan        |  2  |  O  | 3 Kans declared.                                 |
| 三槓子       |     |     |                                                  |
|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------|
| 3 Little Elem|  2  |  O  | 2 Pons and and 1 Pair of Honor tiles.            |
| ?ャ三元       |     |     |                                                  |
|=============================================================================|
| Mixed Flush  |  2  |  O  | Only one style suit and honor tiles are used.    |
| 混一色       |  3  |  C  |                                                  |
|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------|
| Pure Edge    |  2  |  O  | Each meld has either a 1 or 9 tile.              |
| 純全帯ヤオ九 |  3  |  C  |                                                  |
|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------|
| Double 2     |  3  |  C  | 2 times two Shang that are identical, e.g. 2, 3, |
| Shang        |     |     | 4 Wan twice and 6, 7 8 Wan twice.                |
| 二盃口       |     |     |                                                  |
|=============================================================================|
| Pure Flush   |  5  |  O  | Only one style suit.                             |
| 清一色       |  6  |  C  |                                                  |
|=============================================================================|
| Dora         | +1  |  O  | The dora indicator is on the dead wall. For any  |
| ドラ         |     |     | tile you have you get +1. There are extra dora   |
| カンドラ     |     |     | tiles as you make Kans and when you win with a   |
| 裏ドラ・カン裏ドラ |     | Riichi.                                          |
|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------|
| Honor Meld   | +1  |  O  | A set of Honor tiles such as three White, Red or |
|              |     |     | Green, the current round's wind or the player's  |
|              |     |     | own wind direction. +1 for each meld.            |
o-----------------------------------------------------------------------------o


There are more special hands that may not be included in the game. Not every
game will uses all of these. Think of this as super-advanced class if you
really want to know these rules:

4 Triples:              C    Four Pons and a Pair.
四暗??

Pairless Country:       C    A 1 and 9 of each suit, each one of the Honor tile
?綜m無双                     and then one extra tile to make a Pair.

3 Large Elements:       O    A meld of White, Green and Red.
大三元

Large/Small Wind:       O    A meld of each wind, one may be a Pair only.
大四喜?E?ャ四喜

All Green:              O    Using Suo (Bamboo) 2, 3, 4, 6, 8 and Green Honor
緑一?F                       tile. May REQUIRE using the Green Honor tile even.

All Honor:              O    Using only Honor tiles.
字一?F

Nine Treasures:         C    One suit with 1112345678999 and one extra tile for
九蓮宝燈                     making a Pair.

Pure Edge:              O    Only 1s and 9s.
?エ老頭

4 Kans:                 O    Four Kans declared.
四槓子

Heaven Win:             C    The dealer instantly has a winning hand.
天和

Earth Win:              C    The non-dealer has an instant winning hand at the
地和                         first turn without anyone stealing before it.


===============================================================================
05.)                    SCORING                                      G0500
===============================================================================

There is a complex way to calculate the final score. Luckily the game does
everything for you, but if you are still interested then read the next section
in great detail.


Base:
`````
First, a tally value is calculated based on the composition of the hand and how
the hand was won. This number will be an integer between 20 and 70.

To get the tally, take 20 as base. Add 10 points if won by a steal, or 2 points
if drawn.
Additional points are awarded for pairs. 2 for each value Honor tile and 4 if
the wind is both round and player's. For each Pon, 8 points if closed end, 4 if
open end or closed middle and 2 if open middle. For a Kan, 32 points if closed
at the end, 16 open end or closed middle and 8 for open middle.
Finally, there are 2 points for the tile you were waiting if it was in the
middle of a Shang, on the side of a Shang if there was only one way to complete
it (Edge, like 1, 2 and waiting for 3) and third if it completed a Pon.

Two exceptions to this case is '7 Pairs' which automatically results in 25 as
tally. 'Pinfu' gives a tally of 30 if won on a steal, and 20 if self-drawn.


Multiplier:
```````````
The multipliers can be seen in the previous section. Each one adds a certain
amount of points to the sub-total. You get 2 extra as base amount which sums up
to the total multiplier.


Final Score:
````````````
Take the base number and round it up to the nearest multiple of 10 unless the
hand was a '7 Pairs'. Multiple this number by 2^Multiplier for a sub-total. It
cannot be higher than 2000 points or else it is reduced to said amount. That
is the limit in the game to avoid huge scores in single games.

If the win was self-drawn, each loser has to pay that sub-total. Else, multiply
the sub-total by 6 if the dealer won, multiply it by 4 if a non-dealer won. As
the win was won on a steal, only the person discarding the winning tile has to
pay this larger amount.


Draws:
``````
There are several ways to draw the game:
- No more tiles are left to draw.
- All players discard the same wind tile in the first round.
- There are four Kans declared in total. You may complete with a 4-Kan hand.
- All four players have declared Riichi.
- Three players are waiting for the same tile to be discarded.
- A player has 9 different tiles of 1s 9s and Honor. That player may choose to
  declare a draw.

If the game ends after all tiles have been drawn, each player's cards are
opened. Players only needing one tile to win will receive money from the
others. In case of just one player he gets 1,000 from all the others. If there
are two ready players, the other two have to pay 1,500 to each of the two read
players. If there are three ready players, the only one left must pay 1,000 to
each player.


===============================================================================
YY.)                    LINKS                                        GYY00
===============================================================================

A few sites that helped me find information regarding the game's mechanics,
rules and other things I needed to confirm.

WikiPedia's Mahjong Article:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahjong

Japanese Mahjong Scoring:
http://ofb.net/~whuang/ugcs/gp/mahjong/mahjong.html

Mah Jong - Modern Japanese Rules:
http://www.delfosse.com/mahjong.html

Reach-Mahjong Rules:
http://reachmahjong.com/en/rules.html


===============================================================================
ZZ.)                    CREDITS & THANKS                             GZZ00
===============================================================================

This guide was derived from odino's '4 Nin Uchi Mahjong' guide with permission.

GameFAQs for hosting this file.

Pony Canyon for the game.

All those websites listed in the previous sections, I'm sure I used them all
to find something or another. To either learn about the game or just to confirm
a rule.

All trademarks and copyrights contained in this document are owned by their
respective trademark and copyright holders.

This guide may be not be reproduced under any circumstances except for
personal, private use. It may not be placed on any web site or otherwise
distributed publicly without advance written permission. Use of this guide on
any other web site or as a part of any public display is strictly prohibited,
and a violation of copyright.        ,,,
                                    (o o)
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=oOOo-(_)-oOOo-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=