FAQ by Ny0Cloud

Updated: 08/25/02 | Printable Version

    |                  S   H   A   N   G   H   A   I                     |
                       shanghai.txt            14.7k

                              Shanghai --- FAQ


                       System:    Sega Master System
                       Game Type: Puzzle
                       Created:   Designed by Brodie Lockhard
                                  1986, 1988, Activision, Inc.
                                  Reprogrammed by SEGA 1988


                       FAQ Created by: Ny0Cloud (Elliot Long)
                       FAQ Hosted by:  http://www.gamefaqs.com
                       E-mail:         e-long1@rogers.com


                          L     E     G     A     L

 Copyright (C) 2002

 If you are to use this FAQ for any purpose, you must get my expressed 
written consent by E-mailing me (e-long1@rogers.com).

 Unauthorized reproduction, in partial or whole, is illegal.

 If this FAQ is seen on *ANY* other site besides Gamefaqs, it has been
stolen and used without my permission. Please e-mail me the site so I can take
the appropriate action.

                               Don't Test Me.


                       U P D A T E   H I S T O R Y

version mm/dd/yyyy  synopsis

vFinal  08/24/2002: Final Version.


                        T a b l e   O f   C o n t e n t s 

                           1.  What is this?
                           2.  Controls
                           3.  Game Modes and Help Options
                           4.  Tiles
                           5.  Frequently Asked (not really) Questions
                           6.  Other Things and Tips
                           7.  End


              ((  I.            What is This?             .I  ))

   Shanghai is played with 144 tiles from the Chinese game Mah Jongg. At the
start of the game the tiles are shuffled and laid out in the Dragon Formation.
   The object of the game is to remove all the tiles. They must be removed two
at a time, in matching pairs, from among the Free Tiles.
   A tile is free if there's nothing on top of it, and it can slide left or
right. Two tiles match if they are identical. Any two flowers match. Any two
seasons match. The game is won when all 144 tiles are removed, or lost when no
legal moves remain.

   A complete explanation, as well as examples, can be seen if you start the
game AFTER the title screen shows two persons playing Mah Jongg. Otherwise,
you'll be immediately thrown into the game.

              ((  II.              Controls              .II  ))

                   D-Pad...... Moves the cursor
                   Button 1... De-select tile/close menu
                   Button 2... Select tile/Confirm tile removal/Select menu
                   Start...... Not Used

              ((  III.         Game Modes/Help          .III  ))

                                Help Menu:
                            Identify Tile (1)
                            Back up a Move (2)
                            Show All Moves (3)
                                 Peek (4)
                             Change Music (5)

(1): This will let you identify a tile (gasp!). It tells you the proper name
of the tile, and any special attributes (such as Flower or Season).
(2): Obviously, this will undo your last move. Got a move that wasn't so hot?
Just use this.
(3): This is the cheapest tool EVER. Just press Button 1 and it will reveal
ALL the moves you can make, one at a time. Press Button 1 after a pair is
revealed and the game will show the next move (if applicable). Press Button 2
to exit.
(4): This is like the ultimate cheat. Or it would be, if it didn't completely
ruin your game. It actually ENDS your game, and lets you remove any tiles that
haven't been cleared. You remove them one at a time. So, did you just get a
game over, but you wanted to see if you should of made a different move? Well,
you can Peek, but by using Peek, you can't resume your game at all. You'll
need to start a brand new game.
(5): Seriously, what do you think Change Music does?


   When you start the game, you'll begin in the default Solitaire mode.
Solitaire is your basic, no frills, and no gimmicks play mode. You get as long as
you want, as well as access to all the Help options. The one drawback of
Solitaire mode is that it does not tell you when there are no more moves left.
Instead, you need to use Show All Moves to see if there are any left. If there
isn't, it'll say so and you'll need to either Peek and win, or start a new


   When you start a Tournament, you'll be prompted to choose your desired time
limit. Obviously, you'll have that amount of time to completely clear the
Dragon. You can choose Five Minutes (!!!), Ten Minutes, Twenty Minutes, or No
Time Limit. So if you choose No Limit, what's the difference between this and
Solitaire mode? 
   Like me, if you were mad at the fact that you need to check Show All Moves
to see if there are any moves left in Solitaire mode, you can rest assured
that in Tournament mode, the game will conveniently tell you when you've lost.
However, Tournament mode disables Back up a Move, Show All Moves, and Peek
from the Help menu. Tournament mode also records your five best results.


   Want to challenge a friend? Or what about just playing by yourself with a
time limit for each move? Well, here's Challenge Mode! Every move you make
will be timed, based on how much time you chose when you started Challenge
Mode. Five seconds, Ten seconds, Twenty seconds, Thirty seconds, or One 
Minute are the time limits allowed for each move. Your goal is to out-score
your opponent by matching more pairs than him or her. So, if you want to win,
you'll need to plan which two tiles you're going to match ahead of time. Be
quick because once you run out of time, your opponent gets to make his or
her move, and you suddenly find yourself down a point.
   Each matched pair is worth one point. The game ends, of course, when there
are no legal moves left. Then the player with the most points wins! As with
Tournament mode, all the Help menus except Identify and Change Music are


   If you beat the game (even if you use Peek to do it), you'll see that nifty
dragon from the title screen. He'll disintegrate and the screen fades to a
Chinese / Japanese word that I don't understand. I'd take a guess it says
something to the effect of "Congratulations" or "Good Job". Whatever :\

              ((  IV.              Tiles                 .IV  ))

The Dot tiles are named "#th/st Dot", where # represents how many dots are
shown on the tile. There are nine Dot tiles (1st through 9th). There are two
pairs of each Dot tile.
Total Dot Tiles: 36

Or Bam for short. They each have the same criteria as Dot tiles. Except for
the 8th Bam. The 8th Bam looks like two 'M's, one upside down, and one right
side up. The 1st Bam looks like a giant chicken. You'll know it when you see
it, trust me.
Total Bamboo Tiles: 36

Just like the Dots. These tiles have a red symbol on the bottom of the tile,
along with another symbol above it. Each symbol represents a number (I
believe). Each Crak has two pairs, as usual.
Total Crak Tiles: 36

There are three Dragon tiles, the Green, White, and Red Dragon. Each Dragon
has two pairs, as usual. The White Dragon tile looks like two white bamboo
sticks arranged into a rectangle. The Green Dragon tile is a green
Chinese/Japanese symbol. The Red dragon is a red Chinese/Japanese symbol. It
looks somewhat like a T, with some fancy lines thrown in.
Total Dragon Tiles: 12

North, South, East, and West, each with two matching pairs. The winds tiles
contain one Japanese/Chinese symbol, and is coloured black.
Total Wind Tiles: 16

Like the Season tiles, the Flower tiles will have a three-letter abbreviation
along with a graphic on the tile head. They are: MUM (Chrysanthe-Mum),
PLM (Plum), ORC (Orchid), and BAM (Bamboo). Each Flower tile can be matched
with another flower tile of any type.
Total Flower Tiles: 4

There is one tile of each season: Summer, Fall, Winter, and Spring. The Season
Tiles are easily identified because each Season tile will have either WIN,
SUM, AUT, or SPR written on them somewhere along with a graphic. Each Season
tile can be matched with another Season tile of any type.
Total Season Tiles: 4

Add all that up for a total of 144 tiles.

              ((  V.                  FAQ                 .V  ))

   Q: HELP! I can't clear all the tiles!
   A: This game is about 80% luck based. The 20% skill involves discarding the
      right tiles from the right places. If you have to choose between two
      tiles, try and choose the tile that will make tiles below/around it
      playable. Try and make each move result in revealing more tiles.

   Q: Any tips on which tiles I should go for?
   A: I would try and clear the top of the Dragon Formation first, followed by
      the two rows at the top and bottom, and finally the sides of the

   Q: I'm in Tournament/Challenge mode and I seriously can't find any more
      pairs! What do I do?
   A: Look harder! Try a systematic approach: look for matching Dots/Bams/
      Craks first. Then look for Seasons or Flowers. Seasons and Flowers are
      often overlooked. Then look for Winds and Dragons. Focus on one tile
      design and scan through the rest of the tiles to see if you can spot the
      other tile to complete the pair. Just keep looking.

   Q: Why did you bother making a FAQ for this game?
   A: Why not? It needed one, and this wasn't that huge of a project.

   Q: Your FAQ sucks!
   A: That's not really a question, Jimmy. Can you re-phrase it?
   Q: Why does your FAQ suck?
   A: Why don't you write a better one?

   Got a question? E-mail me and I'll add it.

              ((  VI.            Other/Tips              .VI  ))

   Due to the slow moving rate of the cursor in this game, when you play
Challenge mode, a five second timer is next to impossible to make a match
with. Even the ten-second timer is quite difficult, though not impossible
if you already have a pair of tiles in your head.

   Keep trying. Just because you can't clear all 144 tiles the first time,
doesn't mean you won't next time. See if you can fill up the High Score
table in Tournament mode with 10-tiles-or-less scores. What about 5 or less?
3 or less? Perfects? Set challenges for yourself! Trying to accomplish
a self-made challenge is what keeps this game somewhat fresh.

   Work the top of the Formation first. You're first goal should be to clear
the very top tile, then the four below it. Work the sides and the top and
bottom rows too.

   Remember to think ahead. Look at what tiles you need to clear to get access
to a tile you need badly. Try and get to that tile. Do everything you can in
order to get to that tile.

              ((  VII.               End                .VII  ))

   Let's see here... I'd like to thank Jeff "CJayC" Veasey for--as always--
hosting this, among my other FAQs. My Mother for always supporting my FAQ
hobby. You, if you've actually found and read this FAQ for such an obscure
game, for an even more obscure system. The usual SEGA people for releasing
this game, and providing a nice time killer. Er, I suppose that's it. 

   This game is Copyright (C) 1986, 1988 Activision, INC. Game was originally
designed by Brodie Lockhard, and reprogrammed for the Sega Master System in
1988 by SEGA. All words and related phrases about the game are Copyright
whomever owns them.

   You can e-mail comments and/or flames and/or words of encouragement to

   Remember: Stealing and Plagiarism are both crimes. Crime doesn't pay. Why
risk your money and freedoms over a silly guide? Don't post this on your site.
Don't even think about it, because I *WILL* find out.

                                         Copyright 2002 Elliot 'Ny0Cloud' Long