Shanghai: Dynasty last edited by Nes on 01/27/21 11:58PM View full history

Overview

Shanghai: Dynasty is a mahjong solitaire / mahjong game developed by Quicksilver Software and published by Activision for Windows PCs and Apple Macintosh computers on November 30, 1997.

The sequel to the 1995 game Shanghai: Great Moments, Dynasty features a new set of puzzle layouts and tile appearances, as well as a new of six game modes (including traditional mahjong). These modes are:

  • Classic Shanghai - The traditional game of mahjong solitiare, where players are given a multi-layer tile formation and must attempt to remove all pairs from the board.
  • Shanghai For Kids - New to the series. Intended for younger players, this mode is Classic Shanghai with simplistic layouts of 72 tiles or fewer and a voiceover for friendly encouragement.
  • 2-Player - Classic Shanghai, with two players alternating turns forming a pair. There are two ways to play this mode: "Most Tiles (Count Down Timer)" and "Best Time (Count Up Timer)". Most Tiles plays similar to the original Shanghai, where each player has a turn timer and attempts to get the higher amount of tiles matched. Best Time plays similar to Shanghai II: Dragon's Eye, where each player has an overall timer and attempts to have the lowest time at the end of the match.
  • Dynasty - Based on "Golden Tile" mode from Shanghai: Triple-Threat, Dynasty has up to five players racing to clear all tiles from their separate layouts first. When the "Power Tiles" option is used, special Joker tiles are used to give one of seven random power-up effects (either beneficial to the player or detrimental to their enemies).
  • Pandamonium - Based on the "Battle" mode from the PC Engine CD-ROM² port of Shanghai II: Dragon's Eye, Pandamonium has up to five players playing the same "Shanghai" layout simultaneously. Each player is tracked by the amount of tiles they highlight that get removed (allowing two players to score on the same pair). The player with the most tiles removed at the end wins.
  • Mah-Jongg - New to the series. Based on traditional four-player mahjong, with both "Chinese" and "Western" variants. It is one of the few virtual mahjong games to include these variants and not the Japanese "riichi" variant. The game includes numerous rule options, allowing additional tiles and restrictions.

Dynasty, Pandamonium, and Mah-Jongg modes are intended to be played online (a first in the series) through either LAN, modem, or Internet (the latter through the ActivLink service). They can be played against AI opponents.

It was later ported by Success to both the Sega Dreamcast (on March 16, 2000) and the Sony PlayStation (on March 22, 2001, as part of their SuperLite 1500 Series of budget games). Both releases were published exclusively in Japan by SUNSOFT. While none of these versions have online multiplayer (nor the Shanghai for Kids mode), they include full-3D tile rendering. The PS1 version also eschews the Pandamonium mode and limits Dynasty mode to two players. The PS1 version was later digitally re-released via PlayStation Network (as an Original PlayStation Archives title) February 22, 2007.

Gameplay

Dynasty Power Tiles

Matching a Joker tile while the "Power Tiles" option is on gives one of seven effects at random:

  • Back Three Pairs - Each opponent's layout has their last three pairs returned to the board.
  • Face Down - All tiles in each opponent's layout are temporarily turned face down, requiring them to highlight the tile to peek.
  • Reverse - All opponents have their mouse controls temporarily reversed.
  • Scramble - The remaining tiles for each opponent's layout are shuffled, and the layout itself is scrambled.
  • Show All Moves - All available matches are highlighted for a moment.
  • Shuffle - The remaining tiles for each opponent's layout are shuffled, keeping the layout intact.
  • Take Three Pairs - Removes three random pairs of tiles.

While some of them can be detrimental to the player's opponents, the Back Three Pairs, Scramble, and Shuffle effects can also benefit them if they are stuck.

Mah-Jongg

Traditional mahjong. Players can play both "Chinese" and "Western" rules.

Chinese

The "Chinese" variant is based on the Old Hong Kong Mahjong rules, and a variety of rules can be enabled or disabled:

  • Flowers/Seasons - Enables Flower and Season tiles, where drawing them immediately adds them to the meld (giving a large bonus if all four Flowers or Seasons are melded) and give bonus points if that player goes out. Additional bonus points are given out for Flowers and Seasons of the player's current wind.
  • Special Hands - Enables a variety of unique hand combinations for bonus points.
  • False Declaration Penalty - Causes the Win button to remain enabled at all times, allowing players to erroneously declare mahjong, which ends the hand and forces that player to pay a large penalty to other players.
  • Thrower Pays for All - Causes the player that discards the tile used to let another player win to pay for all other players.
  • Payment To - Determines who receives points at the end of the hand. This can be either the players with a winning hand ("Only Winning Hands", default) or all players ("All", reminiscent of Classical Mahjong).
  • Minimum Score - Determines the minimum amount of faan required to declare a winning hand. Either zero ("Chicken", default), one ("1 Fan"), two ("2 Fan") or three ("3 Fan").

Western

The "Western" variant is based on American Mahjong rules, including some changes:

  • It adds the "Charleston" rule, which requires players to exchange three tiles with each of their opponents after the initial hand draw.
  • "Pong", "Kong", and "Chow" are now called "Triple", "Quad", and "Sequence".

Additionally, players can enable or disable certain rules:

  • Flowers/Seasons - Enables Flower and Season tiles, where drawing them immediately adds them to the meld (giving a large bonus if all four Flowers or Seasons are melded) and give bonus points if that player goes out.
  • Jokers - Enables Joker tiles, which are wildcard tiles used to fill out a basic Triple, Quad, or Sequence. Discarded Jokers cannot be taken, instead being treated as the discard before it. Jokers cannot be passed during the Charleston.
  • Goulash (Wall Game) - Causes the round to reset if all tiles are drawn and nobody wins.
  • Kitty - Causes all players to ante up 100 points at the beginning of each hand into a jackpot, allowing players to win the "kitty" if their hand is either all Triples or all Quads.
  • Special Hands - Enables a variety of unique hand combinations for bonus points. The "Western" variant includes a larger variety of Special Hands, including one just for the game ("Hong Kong", with 1-8-4-2 in one suit, 1-9-9-7 in another suit, and Triples of both East and West Winds). Options include "Allowed" (default), "Not Allowed", and "Required".
  • Restrictions on Winning Hands - Either includes no winning hand restrictions ("No Restrictions", default), or require winning hands to be "Pure Hands" (all one suit, no Honor tiles) with no more than one Quad allowed.

Layouts

Classic Shanghai

Easy

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Normal

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Advanced

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Master

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Shanghai for Kids

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Dynasty

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Tilesets

For Grownups

  • Mah-Jongg
  • Astrology
  • Egyptian

For Everybody

  • Fantasy
  • Prehistoric
  • Outer Space

For Kids

  • Alphabet
  • Household
  • Math
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