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FAQ by barticle
Version: 1.04 | Updated: 09/10/09
_________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ /________/|/________/|/________/|/________/|/________/|/________/|/________/| | _ _ || ___ || _ _ || _____ || ___ || _ _ || _____ || | | \ / | || / _ \ || | | | | || (_ _) || / _ \ || | \ | | || | ___) || | | V | || | |_| | || | |_| | || | | || | | | | || | \| | || | | || | | | || | _ | || | _ | || | | || | | | | || | | || | | _ || | | |V| | || | | | | || | | | | || _| | || | |_| | || | |\ | || | |_| | || | |_| |_| || |_| |_| || |_| |_| || (___/ || \___/ || |_| \_| || |_____| || |_________||_________||_________||_________||_________||_________||_________|/ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ /________/|/________/|/________/|/________/|/________/|/________/| | _______ || ___ || _____ || _ _ || ___ || _____ || |(__ __)|| / _ \ || (_ _) || | | / / || / _ \ || (_ _) || ========== | | | || | |_| | || | | || | |/ / || | |_| | || | | || ||\\ // | | | || | _ | || | | || | ( || | _ | || | | || || \\// | | | || | | | | || _| |_ || | |\ \ || | | | | || _| |_ || || \/ | |_| || |_| |_| || (_____) || |_| \_\ || |_| |_| || (_____) || ========== |_________||_________||_________||_________||_________||_________|/ 01 INTRODUCTION 09 DATABASE 12 RULES 02 FEATURE LIST 10 OPTIONS o Custom Rules 03 BEGINNING PLAY o Save o Rule-Sets 04 MAIN MENU o Background Music o Fixed Rules 05 LEAGUE MODE o Gameplay Options o Japanese Mahjong 06 TOURNAMENT MODE o Custom Rules 13 SCORING 07 FREE-PLAY MODE o Yaku Summary 14 CHARACTERS 08 COLLECTION o Tutorial 15 ONLINE PLAY o Titles o Game Previews 16 CONTACT o Cups 11 GAMEPLAY 17 THANKS o Mahjong Tiles o Controls o Mahjong Tables o Status Windows Barticle at hotmail.com o Background Music o Score Display Version 1.04 - 10/09/09 ------< INTRODUCTION >-------------------------------------------- [Section 01] This is a guide to the 2006 Japanese PS3 video-game Mahjong Taikai IV - part of the Mahjong Taikai series that dates back to the NES original in 1989. (In case you were wondering, taikai means "convention" or "tournament".) I discovered Mahjong about four months ago through the minigame in the PS2 game Yakuza 2 (the English-subtitled version of the Japanese game 'Ryu ga Gotoku 2') and it's fair to say I developed a mild obsession with it. I decided to buy a "proper" Mahjong game and, tempted by the realistic table layout and budget price, I went for the 2008 budget reissue of Mahjong Taikai IV. Before buying the game I only knew a few basic phrases of Japanese and had no experience of reading either kana or kanji but through a combination of experi- mentation, guesswork, my new Japanese-English dictionary and some expert help, I've worked out enough to write a - hopefully - useful guide. I've tried to use both Japanese (or original Chinese) and English Mahjong terms throughout, in most cases giving the oriental term first and the English version afterwards in brackets. I know that some purists will object to the use of Chinese terms such as Chow, Pung, Kong and Fan in describing a Japanese Mahjong game but these are the words I learnt from Yakuza 2 and they are common to most English books on Mahjong so I'm comfortable with their use here. In some places where I've translated a Japanese word I've given the original in square brackets for reference; in many cases this will be "katakana English" where an English word has been transcribed phonetically into Japanese (in such cases a hyphen represents an extended vowel sound). For example "furi-" is a katakana rendering of the English word "free". Obviously if you can read Japanese you'll be able to read the instruction manual and the menus in the game so this guide is primarily aimed at English speakers who, like me, wanted a full Mahjong game with rule options and player stats. (If you're thinking about buying this game, check Section 02 for specifications.) You shouldn't be daunted by the Japanese text as there are only a few short menus and options pages. The layout of these is mirrored in this guide so you should be able to find your way around the game without any difficulty. To limit the length of this document I've decided to omit full details of the rules and equipment of Mahjong on the assumption that anyone buying this game will probably already be familiar with them. If you are new to the game, or you play a version other than the modern Japanese "Riichi" rules that appear in this game, then you might like to read my complete guide to the terminology and rules of Japanese Mahjong. It's available as a 74-page, illustrated, linked PDF and can be accessed from the United States Pro Mahjong League download page. http://www.uspml.com/site/downloads.htm (Barticle's Japanese Mahjong Guide) I've also added some notes at the end of Section 12 to explain the significant features of Riichi Mahjong. If you want to discuss Japanese Mahjong then join the international community of enthusiasts on Reach Mahjong's English forums. Hope to see you there. :) http://www.reachmahjong.com/en/forum .-------------------------------------------------------. | For help with the Wii version of Mahjong Taikai check | | out Sean's guide on his "Sean's World" website here:- | | >> http://seansworld.scot/mahjong-taikai-wii-guide << | '-------------------------------------------------------' ------< FEATURE LIST >-------------------------------------------- [Section 02] When I was thinking about buying this game I was unable to find any information about the modes and options available (in English) so I've make a list to help anyone in the same situation. o three play modes - League, Tournament and Free Play - plus online o modern Japanese Mahjong rules including Riichi and Dora (but no red fives) o six different rule-sets (see Section 12 below) o twenty user-defined custom rules (ditto) o full table display including the Wall, Round Wind marker and dealer marker o Dora and Riichi alerts o "Riichi Support" showing different waits and numbers of tiles remaining o Furiten indicator o convenient option to auto-reject melds to keep hand concealed o option to highlight "tsumokiri" (a drawn tile discarded immediately) o unlockable tile sets, tables and trophies :) (but not actual PSN Trophies) o player stats including Yaku and Yakuman counts (see Section 09) o save slots for three different players' profiles o fifteen famous opponents with annoying (but thankfully optional) animations o Japanese language only o no option for three-player games The graphics are presented in High Definition at 720p, 1080i or 1080p (in fact it was one of the first PS3 games in HD) but they're nothing special and can make it harder to read certain discard tiles on a normal standard-def monitor. ------< BEGINNING PLAY >------------------------------------------ [Section 03] So you're looking at the title-screen for the game. "Press start button" it says - in English! Make the most of it cos you'll see very little English text from here onwards. After pressing the Start button you get a menu of three options:- 1. Continue [tsuzukikara] 2. Begin new game [hajimekara] 3. Internet game* [tsushin taikyoku] Of course you can't continue a game until you've made a save file so you'll want to go with option 2. You'll see then that the game has three slots for saving player data/profiles. Make your choice and the game will ask you to confirm. You'll need to learn to recognise the two options given here - these are "hai" which is the Japanese word for "yes" (written with two hiragana characters) and "iie" which means "no" (written with three hiragana, and the first two are the same as the second in "hai"). The default option may vary through the game, but yes is always given on the left (also you can always press the circle button to choose "no"). In this case the default is yes, although if at a later date you choose to overwrite an existing save then the default is no. Next you get to input your name in one or more of a range of different scripts. The short menu gives you four options: katakana, English, kanji (listed in hiragana order) and hiragana. Press X to choose one and to pick a character, press square to backspace-delete or press circle to jump back to the menu. After you've input some text a fifth option appears on the menu which is "confirm". Finally you need to choose the voice for your player - there are four male options followed by four female ones. You can press triangle to hear an example of the selected voice saying "Riichi". Now you're good to go - the main menu and many happy hours of Mahjong-playing pleasure await! Before I continue, I'll note here that the young woman who introduces you to Mahjong Taikai IV is the Guide [gaido] who represents you throughout the game. Also when you come to load a profile you'll notice that it shows the date it was last saved and the number of League and Tournament wins (more on that later). If you have more than one profile then the most recent is selected by default. *I'm going to have to apologise here as my PS3 isn't connected to the interweb so I won't be able to write up the online experience for this game. However I have translated a few relevant sections from the manual (see Section 15). ------< MAIN MENU >----------------------------------------------- [Section 04] The main menu has six options which are presented in the following order. These are explained in more detail in the next six sections of this guide. 1. League Mode (see Section 05) Play a series of ten games in a league 2. Tournament Mode (see Section 06) Play a three-round competition 3. Free-Play Mode (see Section 07) Play a one-off game with your choice of opponents and rules 4. Collection (see Section 08) View your unlocked unlockables 5. Database (see Section 09) View your stats and those of the fifteen other players 6. Options (see Section 10) Set a range of options; also view the Yaku/Yakuman list and instructions There are six menu screens in the offline game and each has a unique background colour (which makes it easier to navigate if you don't know Japanese). red = League Mode blue = Tournament Mode green = Free Play Mode grey = Main Menu yellow = Collection Menu purple = Options Menu From the main menu you can quit back up to the title screen (to load a different profile or go online) by pressing circle. You get two questions - confirm quit? Yes / No (default Yes) and save? Yes / No (default No). Here's a cut-out-and-keep guide to the menus in the game. :) - 8< - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - | Main Menu | League Mode | Tournament Mode | Collection | Options | (grey) | (red) | (blue) | (yellow) | (purple) | ------------+---------------+-----------------+--------------+----------- | 1. League | Play | Play | Titles | Save | 2. Tournament | Save | Save | Cups | Music | 3. Free Play | Main Menu | Main Menu | Tiles | Options | 4. Collection | Give Up | Give Up | Tables | Rules | 5. Database | | | Music | Yaku List | 6. Options | | | | Tutorial | - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ------< LEAGUE MODE >--------------------------------------------- [Section 05] Option one from the main menu takes you to the "mini-career" mode where you play a league match [ri-gu sen] as part of a ten-match league against all fifteen characters (but only three at a time of course). When you start a new league (i.e. on your first play, or after completing or quitting your previous one) you'll be shown a list of the six different rule- sets (see Section 12) and after choosing one you're shown the league menu. The menu for league play has four options which are all quite straightforward. 1. Play first/next game in series 2. Save [se-bu] 3. Return to main menu [mein menyu] 4. Give up! [gibu a-pu] The background colour of the League menu is red. The Play option starts the first match for a new series or, if you're already playing a series, it starts the next match. The text at the top of the screen includes an Arabic numeral which is the number of the next game to be played. Next to this is the name of the rule-set you've selected. The Save option saves your position in the series so you can come back to it. NB "save" is always written in katakana and looks like "t-7" so watch out for it - the game occasionally prompts you to save, and you might not want to! The... well, the other two choices are pretty obvious! However I will note that if you choose to quit to the main menu you'll be given the option to save. Also when you Give Up you lose all current progress in the league. (Through most of the game you can press the circle button to jump up from a sub- menu to a main menu but the League and Tournament mode menus are the exception - you have to choose the third option from the menu.) The table on the right shows the current league standings for all sixteen players (including you); you can press left/right to flick between the top and bottom eight players. There are two columns of numbers for each person - the first is their score from their last match and the second is their overall total (because of the way the points are calculated, the numbers in both columns will always add up to zero). You'll notice that the league table is divided into four coloured sections, each containing four players (e.g. the first one has the players currently in first, second, third and fourth place). Throughout League Mode you will always play against the other three players in your quarter of the league, although these may change as the league progresses. The tenth and final game of the league is played "al fresco" in a courtyard, complete with the soothing sound of birdsong in the background. If you come top of the league after the ten games then you win a trophy. Whoop! ------< TOURNAMENT MODE >----------------------------------------- [Section 06] In the second play mode accessible from the main menu you play a tournament match [to-namento sen] as part of a three-round Mahjong tournament. In each round you play two games against the same three opponents. When you start a new tournament you'll be shown a list of the six different rule-sets (see Section 12) and after choosing you're shown the tournament menu. The menu options are the same as with League Mode (see previous section) so again you can save and come back to the series later or retire at any point. 1. Play first/next game in series 2. Save 3. Return to main menu 4. Give up! The background colour of the Tournament menu is blue. When you start a new tournament, the grid on the right shows the line-up for the first round; as usual you are represented by the Guide - the young woman in the white jacket (the cell containing her usually flashes so you can find it more easily). The four groups of four players are labelled 1 (the kanji with two concentric squares is kai meaning "round") followed by A, B, C or D. You play two games against the three players in your group and the scores from both are totalled. The bottom two players are eliminated and the top two go through to the next round, the semi-finals [junkessho] A and B, and their scores are reset. Both semi-final groups of four play two games and again the top two go through to the final [kessho] round. The winner of the final gets the tournament trophy. If you're knocked out of the tournament in either the first round or the semi- finals you can press X to click through the results of the remaining rounds. ------< FREE-PLAY MODE >------------------------------------------ [Section 07] The third and final of the three offline play modes is Free-Play (literally "free game" [furi- taikyoku]) which is accessed from the third option off the main menu. As you might hope/expect, this is a simple one-off game. First you need to select your choice of the six rule-sets (see Section 12) from the menu and then you select your opponents, either by picking three from the line-up or by pressing triangle for a random [randamu] selection. Then you play the game - that's all there is to it. The background colour of the Free Play menu (where you select your rule-set) is green. ------< COLLECTION >---------------------------------------------- [Section 08] At the end of a game you might receive one or more Revolving Gift Boxes. The contents of these are listed under the Collection [korekushon] section, option four off the main menu. (See Section 10 for details on how to select music tracks, tile sets and table colours for use during play.) The Collection menu has five options, in this order:- 1. Titles [shoogou] 2. Cups [kappu] 3. Mahjong Tiles [maajan pai] 4. Mahjong Tables [maajan taku] 5. Background Music [BGM] The background colour of the Collection menu is yellow. = Titles = In the first section there are sixteen slots which display your Titles in the order in which you're awarded them. You automatically begin with the "apprentice Mahjong player" Title [minarai janshi] which leaves fifteen empty slots to fill. Thereafter you're given Titles for various achievements in your games and each Title has two parts to it. The first part of each describes the type of achievement that earnt you the Title, for example making "violent attacks" [moukou], being patient at making melds, declaring Riichi as soon as you are Tenpai [soku rii] or being the first player to declare Riichi in a hand [sensei* riichi]. The second part consists of three characters. The first is the hiragana "no" used as a conjunction. The second is the kanji "jan" which is the second character in the word "maajan" which is Japanese for "mahjong" (you'll see it in the game's title on the box and disc); "jan" is often combined with other kanji to give Mahjong terms, for example a jansou is a Mahjong parlour and a jantaku is a Mahjong table. The third character combines with jan to give different levels of Mahjong ranking. After starting as a Mahjong apprentice [janshi] you'll become a Mahjong Wolf [janookami], Mahjong Tiger [jantora], Mahjong Dragon [janryuu], Mahjong Hero [janyuu], Mahjong King [janoo] and finally a Mahjong Emperor [janyei]. :D It will take a little while to fill the fifteen slots with Titles - it took me about six weeks - but it's made a little easier as you can get several for the same thing, e.g. I got five Titles (at different "jan" levels) for Sensei Riichi (pre-emptive Riichi). I also got a Title for my first Yakuman (Limit Hand) which was given as the name of the hand followed by Mahjong Ghost [janki]. Titles arrive in a special shiny golden Revolving Gift Box. :) Update! ...I thought you only had to collect fifteen Titles to fill this section but in fact you continue to receive Titles and a second page with a further sixteen slots appears! I've got two more so far, yet another one for Sensei Riichi and a Yakuman title for making my fifth Limit Hand in the game, making me a Mahjong God [janshin]! (over-stating my abilities a little, I think!) *This isn't the sensei that means "teacher"; the second kanji is different so it means "head-start" instead. = Cups = This section shows three trophies which are greyed-out until you win them. The one on the left is awarded for winning the League Mode. The number under- neath shows the number of times you've completed and won the league. The trophy on the right is awarded for winning the Tournament. Again the number under this shows how many times you've won. The centre trophy is labelled "Ending Trophy" [endingu torofi-]. I haven't got this yet but I guess once you've fulfilled certain criteria it triggers the end credits for the game, you get this and you can die happy. At the time of writing I've unlocked all the tile sets and tables and have sixteen Titles but I haven't got this final trophy yet so I assume you have to unlock all the music tracks too...? = Mahjong Tiles = There are seven different sets of Mahjong tiles [maajan pai] that can be used in the game, although at the start only one set is available (with black backings) - the "standard tiles" [tsujo pai] - and others become unlocked as you play through the game. The next five sets listed are: bamboo tiles [take pai] with light brown backs, ivory tiles [zoge pai] with dark grey backs, pink tiles [momoiro pai], silver tiles [gin pai] and black tiles [kuroi pai]. Of the sets available, the bamboo ones are easily the nicest! The set shown on the right is a special set of metallic gold tiles [ougon pai] which is awarded when you make your first Yakuman* (Limit Hand) ...or at least that's when I got mine. See Gameplay Options under Section 10 for information on how to choose your tile set. This changes not only the tiles that are used during your games but also the cursor used when navigating the in-game menus. New tile sets arrive in a shiny red Revolving Gift Box. *I actually got a Yakuman the day after the disc arrived from Hong Kong on my seventh ever game! I was still trying to figure out how the game worked and was going for a Toi-Toi (All Pungs) hand. I was so excited about getting a big hand (Toi-Toi + Riichi + Fanpai + three Dora) that I failed to notice that I had three concealed Pungs, let alone four! I got Suu An Kou (Four Concealed Pungs) and the "bling" tiles were mine. :D = Mahjong Tables = There are three sets of Mahjong tables [maajan taku] in the game. When you begin only the green "normal tables" [tsujo taku] are available and the other two are unlocked during play. The second set is red [aka] and the third is blue [aoi]. This is actually even less interesting than it sounds since the same designs are always used for each game mode (e.g. dragon table in League Mode) and it's only the colour that can be changed. It's nice to be given the choice though. See Gameplay Options under Section 10 for information on how to choose your table colour. New table sets arrive in a white Revolving Gift Box. = Background Music = The final option shows the BGM (background music) songs that have been unlocked. The column on the left is headed "singles" (titles) and the one on the right says "albums" where songs are grouped together into nine separate playlists. The percentage figure shows what proportion of the 126 tracks you have unlocked (26% when you start the game). You can scroll down through the songs you have unlocked and press the triangle button to listen to one (and press it again to stop it) or press circle to cancel [kyanseru] and return to the Collection menu. Music tracks are the most common reward, you seem to get them for winning a game although you don't always get one. They arrive in blue Revolving Gift Boxes. See Section 10 below for more details on music settings. ------< DATABASE >------------------------------------------------ [Section 09] This is option five from the main menu - a database [de-tabe-su] of player info. You can scroll left/right through the roster - the plate in front of the selected player gives their name; their A, B or C "rank"* [the kanji are jan and chikara which I take to mean "Mahjong strength"]; their Title and the number of times they've won the League and Tournament modes. You can select a player (press X) and then you can press up/down to move between three sections and left/right to move between pages within a section. To see your stats you need to select the Guide - the young woman wearing a modern white jacket (the default character). Once you're viewing the stats you can use the shoulder buttons L1/R1 to cycle between the different characters and see their stats too, but only based on games played against you. Section 1 - Page 1/4 This chart plots your score and placings in your last five games. The title at the top says that the scores are shown Uma Nashi - without Uma points included. Section 1 - Page 2/4 This page has two pie-charts. The one on the left shows the ratio of your winning hands that were won concealed [menzen] (in green) to those with melds [naki] (in yellow). The other shows the percentage of hands played where someone won on your discard (Ron) and you had to make a payment [furikomi] (in green) compared to those where you successfully achieved "evasion" [kaihi] (in yellow). Section 1 - Page 3/4 There are six figures here: 1. The number of games [hanchan] you've played 2. The number of hands [kyoku] you've played 3. The number of hands you've won 4. The number of hands in which you got Ronned and made a payment [furikomi] 5. The number of times you've won the League Mode 6. The number of times you've won the Tournament Mode (So the green segment on the second pie-chart is 4 divided by 2.) Section 1 - Page 4/4 This page has six rows too - the last four count how many times you've come first, second, third and fourth respectively. The first row gives your average position and the second shows the relative ratio of your placings. Section 2 This section keeps a record of how many times you've made each of the possible Yaku (scoring elements) and Yakuman (Limit Hands) in a winning hand. They are shown in the following order, so you can cross-reference this list with the grids in the game to see how the Yaku and Yakuman are represented in Japanese script, for example on the Score Display after someone wins a hand. Section 2 - Page 1/3 1. Menzen Tsumo (Concealed Self-Draw) 9. Rinshan Kaihou (After a Kong) 2. Pinfu (No Points) 10. Chan Kan (Robbing the Kong) 3. Tanyao (All Simples) 11. Chanta (Mixed Outside Hand) 4. Iipeikou (Pure Double Chow) 12. San Shoku Doujun (Mixed Triple Chow) 5. Fanpai/Yakuhai (Wind/Dragon Pung) 13. San Shoku Dokou (Triple Pung) 6. Riichi 14. Honroutou (All Terminals & Honours) 7. Haitei (Last Tile Tsumo) 15. Toi-Toi (All Pungs) 8. Houtei (Last Tile Ron) 16. San Kantsu (Three Kongs) Section 2 - Page 2/3 1. Ikkitsuukan/Itsuu (Pure Straight) 9. Chinitsu (Full Flush) 2. Ryanpeikou (Twice Pure Double Chow) 10. Nagashi Mangan (All T&H Discards) 3. San An Kou (Three Concealed Pungs) 11. Shiisanpuutaa (13 Unrelated Tiles) 4. Shou San Gen (Little Three Dragons) 12. Tenhou (Blessing of Heaven) 5. Chii Toitsu (Seven Pairs) 13. Chiihou (Blessing of Earth) 6. Daburu Riichi (Double Riichi) 14. Renhou (Blessing of Man) 7. Honitsu (Half Flush) 15. Dai San Gen (Big Three Dragons) 8. Junchan (Pure Outside Hand) 16. Suu Kantsu (Four Kongs) Section 2 - Page 3/3 1. Ryuu Iisou (All Green) 9. Paa Renchan Yakuman (8 Dealer Wins) 2. Chinrouto (All Terminals) 10. Ippatsu ("one-shot" win) 3. Tsuu Iisou (All Honours) 11. Dora (bonus tiles) 4. Shou Suu Shii (Little Four Winds) 5. Suu An Kou (Four Concealed Pungs) 6. Dai Suu Shii (Big Four Winds) 7. Kokushi Musou (Thirteen Orphans) 8. Chuuren Poutou (Nine Gates) It appears that the game doesn't recognise the optional Dai Sharin (Big Wheels) Yakuman - a hand of 22334455667788 specifically in the Dots suit - although if you were lucky enough to make this very rare hand you'd still have a good chance of making the thirteen Fan required for Counted Yakuman as Big Wheels always gives you Chinitsu, Ryanpeikou, Tanyao and Pinfu at least. Also absent are the optional hands San Ren Kou and Suu Ren Kou. San Ren Kou is a two-Fan Yaku formed by three Pungs in the same suit with consecutive numbers, for example 333444555; in the Chinese Official (CO) rules this would be called Pure Shifted Pungs, or you could also think of it as Pure Triple Chow. Suu Ren Kou is composed of four consecutive suit Pungs and counts as a Yakuman; in the CO rules it's called Four Pure Shifted Pungs. Section 3 All of the competitors except for you have a third section which gives a single page of text. The heading for the third section is Retsuden which means "a series of biographies" so each page must be a character biog. ...I'm in no hurry to translate these! See also Section 14 for links to information about the characters. *You have no rank when you first start playing but the game soon assigns one to you. It can change too, going up or down depending on how well you play! ------< OPTIONS >------------------------------------------------- [Section 10] The final choice on the main menu is the options [opushon] menu which looks like this - but in Japanese obviously! 1. Save 2. Background Music Selection 3. Gameplay Options 4. Custom Rules 5. Yaku Summary 6. Tutorial 7. Game Previews The background colour of the Options menu is purple. = Save = You can save your profile (progress and settings) from this option, or from the second option on the League Mode or Tournament Mode menus. You are asked to confirm: Yes (left) or No (right). The No option is default. The game doesn't have an auto-save function so you have to remember to save, although you will often be prompted to save when you exit a play mode. = Background Music = The sub-menu for in-game background music selection [BGM sentaku] has four rows. The first two let you select the music which is played during a "normal game" [tsujo taikyoku]; the second selection is played when you are the leader [topu], while the first one plays the rest of the time in normal games. The third and fourth rows are used to set the music for "final games" [kessho taikyoku], i.e. in the final (tenth) round of a league or the last two games of a tournament. As above, the third row sets the standard music and the fourth row sets the music that plays while you're leading on points. There are six options for each row which you can cycle between using the L1 and R1 shoulder buttons. o The first option is "single" [shingeru]. If you press X with this selected you are taken to a list where you can select one track to play. On the BGM screen this option is represented by four simple katakana characters followed by the title of the selected track. o The second option is "album" [arubamu]. If you press X on this you are shown a list where you can choose between the nine albums - essentially pre-defined playlists of songs - using the L1/R1 buttons. On the BGM screen this also has four katakana, this time followed by the name of the currently selected album. o The next option is random [randamu] which obviously causes tracks to be played at random from the list. This is shown by four katakana and no other text. o Finally there are three custom playlists, which are marked as Original 1, 2 and 3 - five katakana [originaru] followed by a number. Press X to enter a screen where you can programme the list: press X to add a track from the catalogue on the left to the playlist on the right or highlight a track on the playlist and press square to remove it or X to cut/paste (move) it. After editing you need to click the bottom-right command to confirm your choices. From the top menu (four rows) you can press the triangle button to reset the music selections to default. You are asked to confirm this: Yes (left) or No (right) - yes is default. In the single, album or playlist sub-menus you can press triangle to listen to the selected track. After making changes to the BGM settings you need to confirm them by clicking on the option on the left underneath the four rows. = Gameplay Options = This section has twelve options as listed below. You can press the triangle button to reset these to default. Watch out for this as you're not asked to confirm - an inadvertent press of the button can wipe out your settings, although you always need to press the bottom-left command to confirm and exit (so if you press triangle by accident just press circle to exit without saving). Many of these settings use the same two options that appear in the Custom Rules (see Section 12). Ari means the option is in effect and Nashi means it isn't. Both are written with two hiragana characters - Ari is the one where the second character looks like an "n" while Nashi's second character looks like an "L". The default setting for each is marked with an asterisk. 1. Name: Game Speed [ge-mu sokudo] Options: Slow [osoi] / Normal* [tsujo] / Fast [hayai] / High Speed [kosoku] Info: This controls how quickly the tiles are dealt and the speed at which the other players make their moves - from a sedate pace befitting a historic game to unrealistically instantaneous! 2. Name: Character Animations (Cartoons) [ka-toin] Options: Ari* (on) / Nashi (off) Info: After my first few games I was desperate to find this option! This turns off the pop-up animations where the other players make a speech every time someone makes an exposed set, calls Riichi, etc. 3. Name: Automatic Discard of Drawn Tile [jidou tsumokiri] Options: Ari* / Nashi Info: With this option applied the game will automatically discard the tile you just drew if you have called Riichi, unless you can use it to either win the hand or make a Kong. If you can win you'll be given the Tsumo option; for a Kong you have to press triangle first. (The term "Tsumo" can be used to describe any tile that you draw from the Wall during a game, although it is commonly only used to refer to a self-drawn tile that you take to win a hand. The term "Tsumokiri" means to discard the tile you just drew.) 4. Name: Riichi Support [ri-chi shien] Options: Ari* / Nashi Info: This option gives a helpful pop-up window while you are choosing your discard when you call Riichi. It shows which tile/s would complete your hand and how many are left unplayed. It also shows if the choice would leave you Furiten (in which case you could only win by Tsumo). 5. Name: Discard Tile Identification [sutepai shikibetsu] Options: Ari / Nashi* Info: With this option on, all Tsumokiri discards (where a player discards immediately the tile they just drew, instead of one from their hand) are shown darker than the other tiles, so it gives you extra information which you would get in a real game. 6. Name: Tile Discard Confirmation [pai kiri kakunin] Options: Ari / Nashi* Info: This option is ideal for anyone who regularly fumbles the joypad and discards the wrong tile by mistake. When this rule is Ari (applied) you have to press X twice to discard rather than once as normal. 7. Name: Background Music Volume [BGM onryou] Options: 0 to 11* 8. Name: Sound Effects Volume [koukaon onryou] Options: 0 to 11* 9. Name: Voice Volume [boisu onryou] Options: 0 to 11* Info: These three are pretty straightforward. You can press X to cycle through the twelve values from zero up to eleven. (I wonder if this is a reference to the spoof rockumentary Spinal Tap?! heh) The "voice" setting only controls the volume on the player animations (the ones you control with option 2) and of the Guide between games. The volume of player declarations like "chii" and "riichi" is controlled with the Sound Effects Volume. 10. Name: Tile Variety [pai shurui] Options: (various) 11. Name: Table Variety [taku shurui] Options: (various) Info: This is where you can select which tile-set and tabletop colour to use, although obviously you're only given the option to change these once you've unlocked them (see Section 08). 12. Name: Screen Adjustment [gamen chosei] Info: There are no options here - it's simply a colour chart which lets you adjust your monitor settings to suit. These twelve options are laid out in two columns in this order:- 1. Game Speed 7. Background Music Volume 2. Character Animations 8. Sound Effects Volume 3. Automatic Discard after Riichi 9. Voice Volume 4. Riichi Support 10. Tile Variety 5. Discard Tile Identification 11. Table Variety 6. Tile Discard Confirmation 12. Screen Adjustment [confirm and exit] <-- remember to click this to apply your changes You can also access this menu from option two on the pause menu during play. *This is the default setting for the option. = Custom Rules = This option lets you set the twenty Custom Rules [kasutamu ru-ru] which apply in the sixth (custom) rule-set and for certain rules in the other sets. The rules are presented in the following order:- 1. Open Tanyao 8. Starting Score 15. Wareme 2. Tsumo Pinfu 9. Game Length 16. Paa Renchan Yakuman 3. Ippatsu 10. Shaanyuu 17. Nagashi Mangan 4. Dora 11. Uma 18. Special Yakuman 5. No-Ten Bappu 12. Agari Yame 19. Double Yakuman 6. Renchan 13. Abortive Draws 20. Double Ron 7. Dobon 14. Two-Fan Minimum To change a setting, move the highlight onto a rule then press X to cycle through the available values. You'll then need to select the command at the bottom-left corner of the rectangle to confirm the changes and exit. Otherwise you can press circle to exit without applying any changes you made. See Section 12 for a full description of each rule and list of settings. = Yaku Summary = This shows a Yaku summary [yaku ichiran] - lists of the different Yaku (scoring elements) and Yakuman (Limit Hands) permitted in the game. They're categorised under six headings like this... o 1-Fan Yaku o 2-Fan Yaku o 3-Fan Yaku o Nagashi Mangan (a special Yaku worth Mangan points, equivalent to five Fan) o 6-Fan Yaku (i.e. Chinitsu) o Yakuman Press X to select a list and then scroll up/down it. = Tutorial = The tutorial [chu-toriaru] is a list of instructions for Mahjong, in Japanese of course, spread over several nested menus. For example picking option 1, then 1 and 1 again shows the 34 different tiles. Option 1,3,2 (then press X) shows the allocation of Fu (minipoints) Option 1,3,3 shows the Limits: Mangan, Haneman, etc Option 1,3,4 (then press X) shows the points awarded for 1-4 Fan hands. You can press left or right to toggle between the dealer and non-dealer points. = Game Previews = This takes you to a non-playable demo for three other Koei games: Fatal Inertia, Bladestorm and Ni-OH. It takes a few seconds to begin. ------< GAMEPLAY >------------------------------------------------ [Section 11] This section covers the actual process of playing a game, explaining things that happen in every hand plus some things that only happen occasionally. There are also three subsections below which explain the controls and the layout of the score displays. After being shown the venue and your three opponents, the game will auto- matically determine the seating positions and the breaking of the Wall. The screen will briefly fade to black and you'll see three symbols - the first is the Round Wind (East in the first round), the second is the number of the hand (four hands per wind round) and the third is simply the kanji "kyoku" which means hand (or game). This same display appears each time the Seat Winds move. The same three characters are also displayed in the centre of the screen during play so you can keep track of the progress of the game. Beneath this are two counters which represent counting sticks on the table - the first shows the number of Riichi stakes left on the table from previous drawn hands (each worth 1,000 points to the next player to win a hand) and the second is the Honba counter which goes up each time a hand ends in a dealer win or a draw (each adding 300 points to the points total in a won hand). If you're playing with the Ryan Han Shibari rule (see Custom Rule 14 in Section 12) then a two-Fan minimum will apply when the Honba counter reaches five. A message will appear on the screen with four characters (in a pale orange/pink colour) - the same four character are used for Custom Rule 14 on page 9 in the manual. The message appears in the centre of the screen after the tiles have been dealt and will be shown at the start of each consecutive hand where the Honba counter is showing five or more. The rectangular orange marker (the Chiicha Maaku) shows the current Round Wind and stays next to the first player to be East/dealer in the game. The current dealer in each hand is indicated by the square red marker and if you're playing with the Wareme rule (see Custom Rule 15 in Section 12) then a similar square blue marker is used. The pair of dice next to the dealer marker show the number that was rolled to determine where the Wall was to be broken. In a real game you would've counted around the table in a counter-clockwise direction, starting with the dealer, to decide which player's section of the Wall would be broken. Then you would count the same number of tiles along that section to determine the left side of the Dead Wall (so if the number on the two dice is less than seven then the Dead Wall will wrap around a corner). The thirteen tiles in your hand are shown at the bottom of the screen and each time you pick a new tile from the Wall it appears at the right end. You can move the arrow cursor left/right through your tiles to choose one to discard. When you have the option to win the hand or to steal a discard to make an exposed (melded) set, a small pop-up menu will appear at the bottom-right of the screen. A similar menu gives the option to declare Riichi or to use a drawn tile to make a Kong (either declaring a concealed Kong or "upgrading" an exposed Pung) but in both cases you have to press the triangle button to show the menu. The pop-up menu always has at least three rows. The first gives the number of tiles remaining [noko pai] in the Wall. The second always lets you cancel the menu - with the option to steal a discard this will be "miokuru" (let pass) and the default option is to cancel, if the menu gives the option of Riichi or a win then the second row shows "modoru" (return, i.e. continue play) and the default option will be to take Riichi or the win. If you are calling Chow or Riichi then you can press left/right to select which tile/s to use (if you have a choice). For the rest of the video-game, for example the main menus, I've been able to show you the order in which the options are given but the pop-up menus are dynamic - they can have one or more different options at different times - so you'll need to be able to read six Japanese words given in the basic katakana script. If you already play Japanese Mahjong then you should already know them and if not they are easy to learn (if not so easy to represent in ASCII art!). The six commands you need to know are given here:- | Kana | Brief description of the kana ------------------------+--------+--------------------------------------------- Pon (to call Pung) | po n | A capital J on crutches (?!) and a `/ ------------------------+--------+--------------------------------------------- Chii (to call Chow) | chi- | A capital J (with a crossbar) and a hyphen ------------------------+--------+--------------------------------------------- Kan (make a Kong) | ka n | A seven with a / through it and `/ ------------------------+--------+--------------------------------------------- Ron (declare Ron) | ro n | A square and a `/ ------------------------+--------+--------------------------------------------- Tsumo (declare Tsumo) | tsu mo | A "/ and a lower-case t with an overscore ------------------------+--------+--------------------------------------------- Riichi (declare Riichi) | ri-chi | An "ij", a hyphen and a crossed capital J (The hyphens in the kana column represent the "choonpa" symbol which denotes an extended vowel sound, e.g. ri is "re" but ri- is "ree".) __|__o \ / ----- _|___ \ / | / __|__ ____ | | / / | \ / | | | / -' / / / | / PON (po n) CHII (chi-) KAN (ka n) .-----. \ / \\ / ------- | | ----- | | / / | | | ____ __|__ | | / / --+-- / | |_____| / / |__ / / RON (ro n) TSUMO (tsu mo) RIICHI (ri-chi) When you make a melded set (with either pon, chii or kan) it will be displayed (exposed on the virtual table) to the right of your other tiles. Unlike some video-games, stolen discards are not shown for reference among the other tiles discarded by the same player - as in real life, they only appear in the meld. If another player makes any of the six declarations then this will be shown with a caption using the same katakana text above. It will enter the screen from the direction of the calling player so you can always tell who made the call, even if you're playing with the sound off. When you have a concealed hand that is Tenpai (ready) you will hear a "sch-wing" sound which you will come to love - this lets you know that you have the option to call Riichi. Another happy sound is the shorter "tinkle" which you hear when you draw a Dora (bonus tile); the tile also glitters when it arrives in your hand and if you move the cursor over a Dora in your hand it will briefly flash black so that you think twice before discarding it! On calling Riichi a scoring stick is placed above the player's discards and the first tile discarded is laid perpendicularly to the others. If you don't have enough points to call Riichi then a warning appears on-screen immediately to the left of your hand - it looks a bit weird (like a butterfly?) but it's actually just the word Riichi written in yellow katakana (as above) with a red cross behind it. If during a hand you become Furiten (see Japanese Mahjong in Section 12) then the word "furiten" (written in four simple katakana characters) will appear to the right of your discard tiles, but only when other players are taking their turn. If you have the Riichi Support option activated (see Gameplay Options in Section 10) then this also shows which of your discard choices would leave you Furiten (with the same characters) and hence only able to win by Tsumo. When a player declares a win they reveal their hand. If they called Riichi then the indicators for the Omote Dora and any Kan Dora are flipped to show the Ura Dora beneath. A page is then displayed (see Score Display below) which shows the winning hand, the Dora indicators, the Yaku (scoring elements) and the scores. Then the players' scores are updated. If two players win on the same tile (see Custom Rule 20 in Section 12) then separate Score Display pages are shown for each of them. If a hand ends in an exhaustive draw (i.e. if the supply of tiles in the Wall is exhausted) then two green kanji characters appear on the screen - these say Ryuu Kyoku which means "drawn game". Each player in turn, starting with the dealer, is then considered - if they are Tenpai then they reveal their tiles and the word "Tenpai" (four katakana characters in a pale gold colour) is displayed; if they're not Tenpai then "No-Ten" is displayed instead (also four katakana, but in a pale silver/grey colour). No-Ten Bappu points are then processed if that rule is in use (see Custom Rule 5) and the game decides if the Seat Winds move or not (see Custom Rule 6). If an abortive draw occurs (see Custom Rule 13) then the name of the draw type is shown in the centre of the screen. This will consist of either three or four kanji characters (as shown in brackets in the description of Custom Rule 13 in the manual) but it'll usually be obvious which it is, for example if all four players "reach" (call Riichi) in the same hand. Take care because the computer-controlled players will often go Damaten (silent Tenpai) - even if they have a concealed hand and a good wait they will not call Riichi in an attempt to lure you into a false sense of security! I've even seen them do this will a three-sided Pinfu wait on five consecutive tiles. = Controls = The following controls are used during offline single-player games. You can use the d-pad, left stick or right stick throughout the game so, if you are right-handed (and so inclined) you can play one-handed with the right-stick. NB: Some of these functions are only available when it's your turn. d-pad left/right - selects tile to discard (or tiles to meld into) d-pad up/down - selects option from pop-up menu cross button - discards selected tile - accepts action listed on pop-up menu circle button - makes cursor jump back to the tile you just drew (handy!) triangle button - gives pop-up option to declare Riichi or a Kong square button - this toggles a mode which automatically rejects any offers to steal discards to make sets (pon, chii or kan), except when you're Tenpai and can call Ron of course; when this option is live a note appears at the bottom-right of the screen: "Na(ki) Nashi" (claiming discards disallowed) L1 - displays current rule settings (see Section 12) R1 - displays status windows (see below) select button - gives the option to quit (without penalty) you can choose Yes [hai] or No [iie] - the default is No start button - pauses the game and gives you three menu choices: 1. background music [BGM] you can cycle through options with the L1 and R1 buttons press X to "drill down" to change tracks press triangle to restore the BGM settings to default 2. options menu (see Gameplay Options in Section 10 for details) 3. Yaku/Yakuman list (previously described in Section 10) I'm playing the game on a European console (taking advantage of the PS3 being region-free) but if you have a Japanese machine the O and X controls might be reversed? I know that Japanese games often use O to confirm and X to cancel. If you leave the controls untouched for about a dozen seconds during a game then a window showing the current control options appears at the top-left. = Status Windows = Pressing the R1 shoulder-button during a game calls up the four status windows over the table display. They show the following information for each player. .-------------------------. player's name ----> | ~£$%&!@+ (1)| <---- current position | .------. | picture of player ----> | | | 25000 | <---- current score | | | -4000 | <---- score difference or first symbol is | '------' _ _ | points gained/lost player's Seat Wind ----> | %# [_] [_] Y +66 | <---- current league or '-------------------------' tournament points* red dealer marker* -' '- blue Wareme marker* The number under the score is one of two things. During play it shows the difference between the player's score and your own - a positive number in blue means that you're ahead of them, a negative number in red means that you're behind. If one or more players have the same score as you (for example at the start of a game) then two kanji are shown in blue; these say Dooten - Doo means "same" and Ten means "points", together Dooten means "tie". The same windows are shown at the end of a hand and now the number shows the points won/lost in that hand - gains are blue and losses are red. The kanji next to the player's Seat Wind (represented with a hash symbol above) is the suffix -Ka which means "person" and is usually pronounced as "Cha" in Mahjong contexts (I assume this is a Japanese interpretation of the Chinese pronounciation). The player at East, for example, is therefore the "Toncha". The windows are always colour-coded to show the current position: blue is first, green is second, yellow is third and red is fourth. After a few games you'll come to recognise the significance of the four colours (the same colours are used in the Mahjong Fight Club games too). When you press R1 in a game, the title of the piece of music that is currently playing is also displayed at the top-right of the screen. *Shown when/where appropriate. = Score Display = When a hand is won the following screen is shown. I've used ASCII characters here to represent Japanese script. .------------------------------------------------. | ##### .---------------. | | ##### | .--. #@& t£ | (3) | | | | | | | (1) | %=# 2*% (2) | '--' ~£$%&!@+ | | | '---------------' _ _ _ _ _ | | _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ |_|_|_|_|_| | (5) (4) | |_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_|_| |_| |_|_|_|_|_| | | .------------------------------------------. | (6) | | @+&%# 1# £$ 1# &%£ 1# | | | | }& 1# K7 2# | | | | | | | '------------------------------------------' | |(7) 20£ 6# (8) __________ | | ## ## | H 6000p | | | 12000p (9) ## ## (10) | 7 3000p | | (11) '------------------------------------------------' (1) The first symbol is the round wind, (2) This is the Honba counter which the second is the number of the hand counts draws and dealer wins - in that round (in Japanese numerals) it's an Arabic numeral followed and the third just says hand [kyoku] by two kanji [honba] (3) The details of the player who won the (4) The winning hand with the final hand: their picture, seat wind (the tile shown at the right end of fourth symbol on top row) and name the concealed section (5) The Dora indicator section of the (6) The Yaku and Dora count for the Wanpai (Dead Wall) hand plus Fan value for each* (7) The Fu (minipoint) value of the hand (8) The total number of Fan (9) Total points awarded for hand (not (10) The limit if applicable, e.g. counting Riichi stakes / Honba points) Mangan, Haneman, Baiman, etc (11) For a Tsumo win this shows the points paid to the winner by the dealer [oya] and by non-dealers [ko] When you score a limit you'll hear the other players gasp in amazement. :) *The names of the Yaku (scoring elements) are given in kanji but if you know the rules it should usually be obvious which Yaku are present and you'll then come to recognise the shapes of the more common Yaku names. There's a full list of Yaku/Yakuman in the Database pages - see Section 09 for an index of these. ------< RULES >--------------------------------------------------- [Section 12] This - rather long - section explains the twenty user-defined Custom Rules, the six Rule-Sets that are chosen in all three play modes, the twenty-six Fixed Rules which apply in all games and a little information about modern Japanese Mahjong for readers who are more familiar with other variants of the game. = Custom Rules = There are twenty Custom Rules in the game which have variable settings you can change (from the fourth choice on the purple Options menu). These are the rules that apply when you use the Custom rule-set and some of them apply to certain rules in the other rule-sets too (see Rule-Sets subsection below). I've listed the twenty rule options here in the order they appear in the manual (page 9). The second column on the table there shows the settings available and again I've listed these in the order they're given in the book so you can cross- reference my listing with theirs. You'll notice that several rules (such as the first three) have the same two options, these are Ari (with) and Nashi (without). If you play Japanese Mahjong then you should recognise these terms; if not, their usage is simple - for example Dobon Ari means the Dobon rule is used, Dobon Nashi means it ain't! In the manual the default settings are shown in red. In the listing below I've marked these with an asterisk. 1. Name: Kuitan (open Tanyao) Options: Ari* (on) / Nashi (off) Info: When Kuitan is Ari the game allows the scoring element Tanyao (All Simples) on an exposed hand. I've used the more common name for this rule here but in the game it's labelled as Nakitan which I think means "melded/open Tanyao". 2. Name: Tsumo Pinfu (self-draw Pinfu) Options: Ari* / Nashi Info: When Tsumo Pinfu is Ari you can claim the scoring element Pinfu on a Tsumo (self-draw) win. Pinfu is defined as a "no points" hand, with no Fu (minipoints) other than the basic 20 or 30 for going out. A Tsumo win is normally worth an extra two Fu but with this rule you waive the two Fu and take the extra Fan (double) for Pinfu instead. 3. Name: Ippatsu ("one-shot" win) Options: Ari* / Nashi Info: This simply turns on/off the Ippatsu scoring element. 4. Name: Dora (bonus tiles) Options: Subete* / Omote-Ura-Kan / Omote-Kan / Omote-Ura / Omote Info: This lets you choose what combination of Dora are allowed. The Omote Dora is the standard one that is indicated by the third tile on the Dead Wall. A Kan Dora indicator is revealed when someone declares a Kong. The Ura Dora indicator is the tile under the Omote Dora which is applied when someone wins with Riichi. The default option is Subete which means "all", i.e. the Omote Dora, Kan Dora and Ura Dora plus Kan Ura Dora - the indicator tile under any Kan Dora indicators. 5. Name: No-Ten Bappu (draw payments) Options: Ari* / Nashi Info: The No-Ten Bappu is the payment of 3,000 points paid in the event of a hand ending in an exhaustive draw (when the Wall is depleted). The players that are Tenpai (one tile away from having a complete, but not necessarily scoring, hand) each receive a share of the 3,000 points, which are paid by the players that are not Tenpai (No-Ten). With No-Ten Bappu set to Nashi, no points are exchanged on a draw. 6. Name: Renchan (continuances) Options: Tenpai / Nanba* / Houra Info: This sets the conditions in which the dealer gets to play a Renchan (an extra hand or continuation without the Seat Winds moving). o Tenpai - dealer "stays on" if they win a hand or if a hand ends in a draw where they are Tenpai o Nanba - the Tenpai rule applies in the first/East round of a game but if a second/South round [nan ba] is played then the dealer stays on if they win or in any draw, regardless of whether they're Tenpai or No-Ten o Houra - dealer only stays on when they get a Houra (win) 7. Name: Dobon (bankruptcy) Options: Ari* / Nashi Info: When Dobon is Ari the game ends if someone's score drops below zero. 8. Name: Haikyuu Genten (starting points allocation) Options: 25,000 pts* / 27,000 pts / 30,000 pts Info: Each player has 30,000 points at the beginning of a game. If you choose one of the first two options they each pay either 5,000 or 3,000 points into the Oka and then start the game with 25,000 or 27,000 points each respectively. The Oka (jackpot) of either 20,000 (4 x 5,000) or 12,000 (4 x 3,000) points is then paid to the winner at the end of the game. See also Section 13 for scoring examples. 9. Name: Bakaze (game length) Options: Ton-Nan* / Ton-Puu Info: This rule sets the game length in terms of round winds [bakaze]. With the default option of Ton-Nan (literally "East-South") the game is played over the standard Japanese duration of two rounds, the East and South rounds. With Ton-Puu only one - East - round is played. 10. Name: Shaanyuu (conditional west round) Options: Nashi / 30,000 pts / 30,100 pts* / 33,000 pts / 35,000 pts Info: In a full two-round game with Shaanyuu Ari, a third (West) round - effectively "extra time" - is played if no player has achieved the target score at the end of the South round. When Custom Rule 9 is set to Ton-Puu (a one-round game) this option is unavailable. The Shaanyuu rule automatically includes the Peinyuu rule so if the target score is still not achieved by the end of the West round then a fourth (North) round is played. And if no player has beaten the score at the end of *that* then the Kaeri Ton rule applies and another East round is played...! The kanji Shaa means "West", Nyuu means "enter", Pei means "North", Ton means "East" and Kaeri means "return". 11. Name: Uma (score adjustments) Options: Nashi / 0-5 / 0-10 / 0-20 / 0-30 / 5-10* / 10-20 / 10-30 / 20-30 Info: The Uma is a final exchange of points at the end of the game. The player in third place pays the first number (in thousands) to the one in second place and the player in fourth pays the second number to the winner. For example with the default setting of 5-10, the winner gets 10,000 from fourth and second gets 5,000 from third. See also Section 13 of this guide for scoring examples. Uma is sometimes known as Juni Uma where Jun means "sequence" and "i" means "position". 12. Name: Agari Yame (quit while you're ahead!) Options: Ari* / Nashi Info: With Agari Yame Ari if the player at East (the dealer) wins the final hand and is leading on points then they are given the option to end the game (and collect the Uma and Oka) rather than risk losing in the Renchan (extra hand) that would usually be played after a dealer win. NB: If this happens to you, when the game asks if you want to stop the two options are Yes (left) and No (right). The default is Yes. I've used the traditional name here but it can also be read as Houra Todome which I take to mean "winning finishing-blow". Apparently the term Todome is common in samurai-based fiction. In the Wii version of Mahjong Taikai this rule option is labelled as Houra Shuuryou which means "winning termination". 13. Name: Tochuu Ryuu Kyoku (abortive draws) Options: Yarinaoshi / Ronchan / Renchan* Info: The term Ryuu Kyoku refers to a draw and Tochuu means "mid-way" or "in the middle" so this section refers to abortive draws that occur during a hand (as opposed to normal exhaustive draws which occur when the supply of tiles is used up). Any one of the following five conditions forces an abortive draw and a re-deal... o Suu Kai Kan (four revealed Kongs) Four Kongs are declared (unless all by the same player). o Kyuu Shu Kyuu Hai (nine varieties, nine tiles) A player has nine or more different Terminal and Honour tiles after their first drawn tile (and no player has previously melded a discard) and they choose to accept the abortive draw. NB: To get this option you have to press the triangle button. You then get a pop-up menu with two options - the top one is Modoru which means "return" (i.e. return to the game) and the bottom one is Taosu which means several things, for example "bring down" or "throw down" (throwing down your tiles?), and this is the one you choose to request the Nagare (re-deal) ...although of course you will try for Kokushi Musou instead! Go on, you know you want to! :) o Suu Fon Renda (four Winds barrage) All four players discard the same Wind tile on their first turn (and no player has previously melded a discard). o Suu Cha Riichi (four persons Riichi) All four players call Riichi in the same hand. o San Cha Hou (three persons win) Three players call Ron on the same discard tile. ...and this rule lets you choose what happens next from the following three settings. o Yarinaoshi means "to do something again", so the hand is replayed o Ronchan means the next hand is played and the Seat Winds move o Renchan means the next hand is played but the Seat Winds don't move Although they don't happen that often (I've only seen them once or twice each in a hundred games) you should watch out for the "four Riichi" and "same four Winds discard" situations. You can use them to force a draw if your hand isn't so good, but conversely you should be careful not to let them happen if you do have a good hand! When a Riichi draw occurs, the four Riichi stakes stay on the table so there's a tasty bonus of 4,000 points for the next winner... perhaps a good incentive to go out quickly with a cheap hand. B) NB: The furigana text gives the reading for the second option as "Ronchan" but in the Wii version of Mahjong Taikai it's "Rinchan"! I think both are valid, although the "rin" reading is the one that's used in the name of the Dai Sharin (Big Wheels) Yakuman. 14. Name: Ryan Han Shibari (conditional two-Fan minimum) Options: Ari* / Nashi Info: Normally the game is played with a one-Fan minimum - you need Yaku worth at least one Fan in order to go out and win a hand. With this rule in effect, a two-Fan minimum is applied when the Honba counter shows five or more (i.e. after five dealer wins or draws). Fan from Dora bonus tiles are not counted when checking if a hand meets the one/two-Fan minimum requirements. Ryan is the Japanese pronounciation of the Mandarin Chinese counting- number two, Han is the Japanese version of Fan (doubles) and Shibari means "binding". The name is often shortened to Ryanshi. 15. Name: Wareme (score adjust for player with broken wall) Options: Ari / Nashi* Info: With Warame Ari the player whose section of the Wall was broken at the start of each hand is given a marker (it looks like the square dealer marker but it's blue instead of red). The player with this marker pays and receives double points. If they happen to be the dealer too then the score effects are cumulative. The doubling effect of Wareme is applied after the normal score calculation so, for example, if you get ronned on a dealer Mangan when either you or the dealer has the Wareme marker then it would cost you a 24,000 points (ouch!) which could easily bankrupt you. The Japanese word Wareme means "split" or "crevice" so it obviously refers to the break in the Wall. 16. Name: Paa Renchan Yakuman (eight consecutive dealer wins Limit Hand) Options: Ari* / Nashi Info: When this is Ari, the dealer can score a Yakuman bonus for winning eight consecutive hands. 17. Name: Nagashi Mangan (all Terminal and Honour discards) Options: Ari* / Nashi Info: When Nagashi Mangan is Ari, if a hand ends in an exhaustive draw, all of your discards are Terminals and Honours and none of these have been taken by other players then you can claim Nagashi Mangan and score Mangan points (12,000 for a dealer or 8,000 for a non-dealer). 18. Name: Tokushu Yakuman (special Limit Hands) Options: Ari* / Nashi Info: When this rule is Ari, the two Tokushu Yakuman (special Limit Hands) are allowed. These are Renhou (Blessing of Man) where you go out on a discard before your first draw of the hand and Shiisanpuutaa (Thirteen Unrelated Tiles) where a player begins a hand with thirteen tiles that cannot form sets together (for example suit pairs of 3-4 or 3-5 would not be allowed) plus a duplicate of one of the thirteen. 19. Name: Daburu Yakuman (double Limit Hands) Options: Ari* / Nashi Info: When the Daburu Yakuman (double Limit Hands) are Ari, you can score double Yakuman points (96,000 points for a dealer or 64,000 points for a non-dealer) with one of these four variants of a Yakuman:- o Kokushi Musou (Thirteen Orphans) won on a 13-sided wait o Chuuren Poutou (Nine Gates) won on a 9-sided wait o Suu An Kou (Four Concealed Pungs) won on a pair wait o Dai Suu Shii (Big Four Winds) - a better version of Shou Suu Shii 20. Name: Ryan Cha Hou (double Ron win) Options: Ari* / Nashi Info: When Ryan Cha Hou is Ari the game allows Double Ron - two players can call Ron on the same discarded tile and therefore both win the hand. If this rule is Nashi then only one player wins, the one closest to the discarder working counter-clockwise around the table (this is known as Atama Hane). If two players win on the same tile and only one of them called Riichi then only the one who "reached" gets the benefit of the Ura Dora (and any Kan Ura Dora). Three players calling Ron at once causes an abortive draw (see Custom Rule 13 above). *This is the default setting for the Custom Rule. = Rule-Sets = There are six different rule-sets which can be selected in all three play modes; five are predominantly pre-defined and the final one is fully user-defined. The six sets are offered in the rule selection [ru-ru sentaku] menu in the following order. I've also listed the significant features of each which are shown to you when you pick them. 1. Standard [hyoojun] Kuitan Ari, Tsumo Pinfu Ari, Ippatsu Ari, Dora Subete (all), Dobon Ari, starting score 25,000 points, two-round game, 5-10 Uma, Wareme Nashi 2. East-only [ton-puu] Starting score 25,000 points, one-round game, 10-20 Uma, Wareme Nashi 3. Inflation [infure] Ippatsu Ari, Dora Subete (all), Dobon Ari, starting score 25,000 points, two-round game, 20-30 Uma, Wareme Ari (Infure means "inflation" so I think this rule-set gets its name because the Wareme rule and big Uma make for large amounts of points changing hands.) 4. East-only Inflation [ton-puu infure] As above but with one-round games (and Shaanyuu is therefore Nashi) 5. Match [kyoogi] Kuitan Nashi, Tsumo Pinfu Nashi, Ippatsu Nashi, Omote Dora only, Dobon Nashi, starting score 30,000 points, two-round game, Uma Nashi, Wareme Nashi (This is a quite restrictive rule-set with several features disallowed. With no Ippatsu or Ura Dora there's less incentive to use Riichi. Also there's no Uma or Oka so there's no skewing of scores at the end of a game.) 6. Custom [kasutamu] All twenty rules are user-defined (see above) The table on page 15 of the manual shows all the rule settings for the six rule- sets; a circle means Ari (rule is used), a cross means Nashi (rule is not used) and a triangle means that the custom setting applies. You'll notice that several of the sets use some custom settings, especially the Ton-Puu rule-set. During play you can check the rule options currently in effect by pressing L1. The twenty rules are listed in three columns in the following arrangement. 1. Open Tanyao 8. Starting Score 15. Wareme 2. Tsumo Pinfu 9. Game Length 16. Paa Renchan Yakuman 3. Ippatsu 10. Shaanyuu 17. Nagashi Mangan 4. Dora 11. Uma 18. Special Yakuman 5. No-Ten Bappu 12. Agari Yame 19. Double Yakuman 6. Renchan 13. Abortive Draws 20. Double Ron 7. Dobon 14. Two-Fan Minimum = Fixed Rules = Page 8 of the manual lists twenty-six Fixed Rules [kotei ru-ru] which cannot be changed (hence the name!). I've started to list these below but with my lack of Japanese language skillz the translation is a slow and painful process! This is what I've worked out so far... some is guesswork. 1. Atozuke (and) Kuikae Ari. Atozuke is the rule that lets you claim a tile to win with a hand that had no Yaku (scoring elements) until you added that tile, e.g. if you took a Dragon tile to complete a Pung making the hand worth one Fan (double). Kuikae is the rule that lets you break a complete concealed set (a Chow or a Pung) in your hand to make a meld with an opponent's discard and then immediately discard the third tile from the original set on the same turn. On the Wii version of Mahjong Taikai these two rules are listed separately so I assume they really should've been listed individually here too. 2. Keishiki Tenpai Ari - a hand is recognised as being Tenpai if it is one tile away from being a complete hand of four sets and one pair, regardless of whether it has Yaku (scoring elements) or not. This impacts on the payment of points in a draw and on determining dealer continuances. (see Custom Rules 5 and 6 above) 3. The Dora (bonus tile) is the one following the indicator on the Wanpai (Dead Wall), so an indicator tile of 8 Bams makes 9 Bams the Dora. 4. The Dead Wall has fourteen tiles. These are effectively replenished, so if one is taken as a replacement tile after a Kong is declared then one less tile from the live Wall will be used during play (the hand will finish "one tile early"). 5. You can claim Pinfu on a Ron win for 30 Fu (minipoints). 6. There are five different situations which cause an abortive draw. (see Custom Rule 13 above) 7. This is the Pao property of some Yakuman, also known as the "dangerous discard" rule. If a player has two exposed Pungs of Dragon tiles and another player discards the tile that lets them make a third for Dai San Gen (Big Three Dragons), or if a player has three Pungs of Wind tiles exposed and someone discards the tile that lets them complete the fourth Pung for Dai Suu Shi (Big Four Winds), then the discarding player has to pay. If the hand is won by Tsumo the discarding player pays the full amount (Yakuman!) or if it's won by Ron from a third player then the discarder has to pay half. In Japanese Mahjong the Pao rule is sometimes known as Sekinin Harai - literally a "liability payment". 8. Something about Chii Toitsu (Seven Pairs) and four tiles ...presumably this is the rule that you cannot count four identical tiles (i.e. an undeclared Kong) as two pairs. 9. You cannot claim Ippatsu if someone makes a meld (even a concealed Kong) after you've called Riichi. 10. Each player starts with 30,000 points (Kaeshi), although they may each pay 3,000 or 5,000 of these into the Oka (jackpot for the winner) in which case they all begin the game with 27,000 or 25,000 points respectively. (see Custom Rule 8 above) The initial 30,000 are also known as Genten which means "starting point" - quite literally in this case - while the actual score for the beginning of the game, for example 27,000 points, is called Haikyuu Genten, with Haikyuu meaning "ration" or "distribution". 11. Each hand that ends in a dealer win or a draw causes the Honba counter to increment by one at the start of the next hand. When a non-dealer wins a hand the counter is reset to zero. Whenever a player wins a hand they receive extra points equal to 300 times the Honba counter. 12. This is the Go Sha Roku Nyuu (literally "5 discard, 6 enter") method for reckoning and rounding the final scores. (see Section 13 for scoring examples) 13. If the game ends with two players on the same score then the placings are determined by Kamicha Jun (upper player order). Priority is given to players starting with the one that was East at the start of the game (this will be the one with the Round Wind marker next to them), followed by the player to their right (the next one to be East), etc. 14. Furiten Riichi Ari - you are allowed to call Riichi when you are Furiten, but of course you will only be able to win by Tsumo (self-draw) so you'd reduce your chances of winning by 75%! 15. Open Riichi [o-pun ri-chi] Nashi - Some versions of Mahjong allow a special type of Riichi where your incomplete set is exposed and you get an extra Fan (double) when you win, but it is not allowed in Mahjong Taikai IV. 16. If a game ends with a drawn hand then the player in first place collects any Riichi stakes left on the table. 17. If two players both win a hand on the same discard then the one closest to the discarder's right collects any Riichi stakes. (Double Ron [dabu ron] is allowed in the first, third and fourth rule-sets, disallowed in the fifth and in the other two it's specified with Custom Rule 20.) 18. Once you've declared Riichi you cannot change the contents of your hand except to declare a Kong. 19. You cannot go out with Chan Kan (the scoring element Robbing The Kong) from a declaration of a *concealed* Kong. Some rule-sets make an exception for a player winning with Kokushi Musou (Thirteen Orphans), or more generally any Yakuman, but not in this game. 20. The indicator for a Kan Dora is opened immediately as the Kong is declared, as opposed to waiting for a safe discard afterwards. 21. If a player steals a discard tile to make an exposed Kong [daimin kan] and then goes out on the replacement tile taken from the Dead Wall (claiming the Rinshan Kaihou (After a Kong) Yaku) this is considered a normal Tsumo win and all three players pay as usual; i.e. it is not considered a Ron win with only the discarding player paying the points. 22. You cannot make a Kong using the Haiteihai (last drawn tile in a hand) as there would be no tile available to replenish the Dead Wall after you take your replacement tile. 23. You cannot use the Houteihai (last discarded tile) to make a Chow, Pung or Kong; you can only claim it (Ron) to complete your hand and go out. 24. Yakitori Nashi - in some parlours you can play the Yakitori (grilled bird) rule whereby each player starts a game with a special Yakitori counter on the table, usually with a picture of a skewered sparrow, which is inverted when they win a hand. If a player's counter is still face-up at the end of the game then they pay a forfeit or penalty, often several thousand points. It's basically a penalty for not winning any hands, but not included here! 25. Akapai Nashi - the option of playing with red five tiles, each worth one Fan just like Dora tiles, is not available. 26. Kanburi Nashi - some versions of Mahjong allow a one-Fan Yaku called Kanburi which is awarded for calling Ron on a tile discarded by a player after they've declared a Kong and taken their replacement tile, but it's not recognised in Mahjong Taikai IV. I think it's pretty odd that Yakitori and red fives aren't included in the game as they're popular options (especially red fives) and it would only take about five minutes to write the code to implement them! Oh well. Update! ...I've learnt that the previous games in the Mahjong Taikai series also lacked the option of red fives so I was especially surprised to discover, in translating the custom rules in Mahjong Taikai Wii for Sean's guide (see Section 01), that the Wii version of the game includes both red fives and Yakitori! = Japanese Mahjong = If you're more familiar with other versions of Mahjong, this subsection explains the significant features of the modern Japanese rules that appear in the game. o Only the player that wins a hand receives points. A win by self-draw is called Tsumo and has all three losers paying their share of the winnings, while a win with a stolen discard is called Ron and only the discarder pays. o If any tiles among a player's discards would complete their hand then they are Furiten and not allowed to win by Ron, although they can still win by Tsumo. This is sometimes known as the Sacred Discard rule. o The third tile on the Wanpai (Dead Wall) is exposed and acts as an indicator for the Omote Dora (top Dora) - a bonus tile which is worth one Fan for each present in a winning hand. The Dora is the tile sequentially following the indicator tile, so for example a 6 Dots on the Dead Wall makes 7 Dots the Dora and if you have a Pung of 7 Dots this will be worth three Fan (ker-ching!). The sequence for Winds is ESWNE and for Dragons it's RWGR, so a Red Dragon indicator makes White Dragon the Dora. Optionally an additional Kan Dora indicator is exposed each time a Kong is declared. (see Custom Rule 4) o A player with a concealed hand which is Tenpai ("ready" or one tile from being complete) - when there are at least four tiles left to be drawn in the Wall - can pay 1,000 pts to declare "Riichi". If they then win the hand they get their stake back and gain an extra Fan (double). There are two additional, optional, benefits which are an extra one-Fan bonus if they go out within four turns of calling Riichi (this Yaku is called Ippatsu) and Ura Dora bonus indicators which are revealed on the bottom half of the Dead Wall beneath the Omote Dora indicator (and any Kan Dora indicators). (see Custom Rules 3 and 4) When a player wins a hand they collect all Riichi stakes on the table from the current hand plus any left unclaimed from any previous drawn hands. This rule is a major aspect of the modern Japanese Mahjong rules and therefore the game is often known as Riichi Mahjong or "Reach" Mahjong. o Claims for discarded tiles to complete a set are made with the word "chii" for a Chow, "pon" for a Pung and "kan" for a Kong. o The list of permitted Yaku (scoring elements) includes:- - Pinfu (No Points / Peace) [gives 1 Fan] awarded for a concealed hand with four Chows, won on a Ryanmen (two-sided) wait and with a pair that is not made of Dragons, Seat Wind or Round Wind tiles - i.e. a hand scoring no extra Fu (minipoints) (see Custom Rule 2) - Tanyao (All Simples / Inside Hand) [gives 1 Fan] awarded for a hand with no Terminal or Honour tiles (see Custom Rule 1) - Chanta (Mixed Outside Hand) [gives 1 Fan if open or 2 Fan if concealed*] awarded when all sets contain at least one Terminal or Honour tile - Junchan (Pure Outside Hand) [gives 2 Fan if open or 3 Fan if concealed] awarded when all sets contain at least one Terminal; can't claim Chanta too - Iipeikou (Pure Double Chow) [gives 1 Fan] awarded for two identical Chows in a concealed hand (same suit and numbers) - Ikkitsuukan or "Itsuu" (Pure Straight) [gives 1 Fan open or 2 Fan concealed] awarded for three consecutive Chows (123456789) in one suit - San Shoku Doujun (Mixed Triple Chow) [gives 1 Fan open or 2 Fan concealed] awarded for three Chows with the same numbers (one in each suit) - Chii Toitsu (Seven Pairs) [gives 2 Fan] as you might've guessed, this is a special hand with seven paired tiles o There are no restrictions on the number of suits or Chows in a hand. o The game is played with an Ii Han Shibari (one-Fan minimum) so a hand must have Yaku worth at least one Fan in order to be able to "go out" and win; Fan from Dora bonus tiles don't count. Optionally a Ryan Han Shibari (two-Fan minimum, again without Dora) is applied after five consecutive hands have ended in either a dealer win or a draw. (see Custom Rule 14) o Players who are Tenpai on an exhaustive draw usually receive points (No-Ten Bappu) from the players that are not. (see Custom Rule 5) o If a hand ends in a dealer win or a exhaustive draw where the dealer is Tenpai then an extra hand is played without the Seat Winds moving, so the dealer "stays on"; this is called Renchan. (see Custom Rule 6 for variants) o There are five situations which force an abortive draw. (see Custom Rule 13) o The eight Season and Flower bonus tiles are removed before play. In most Japanese Mahjong sets the Flower tiles are replaced by four Akapai (red fives) but the four Season tiles are still present and need to be taken out! o Fu are rounded up to the nearest ten before doubling. The one exception is the Seven Pairs hand which always scores 25 Fu (with no additions) and two Fan. After doubling, point payments are rounded up to the nearest hundred. o Games are usually played over two wind-rounds instead of the traditional four. This standard Japanese two-round game with only East and South rounds is called a Hanchan (half game). (see Custom Rules 9 and 10) NB: A traditional Chinese game of four wind-rounds is called an Iichan. o There are five tiered limits applied to the overall points value of a hand; these are listed in the table below. The first limit is called Mangan and is often defined simply as applying to a hand worth five Fan but actually any hand with more than 2,000 base points (and less than 3,000) is limited to Mangan, i.e. hands with five Fan OR four Fan and at least 40 Fu OR (albeit rarely) three Fan and at least 70 Fu. The highest limit is Yakuman which applies, obviously, to any Yakuman (Limit Hand) and also to any hand worth thirteen or more Fan ("Counted Yakuman"). | | Points for | Points for | Mangan | Awarded for... | non-dealer win | dealer win | equivalence -----------+----------------+----------------+------------+-------------- | 3 Fan & 70+ Fu | | | Mangan | 4 Fan & 40+ Fu | 8,000 | 12,000 | 1 x Mangan | 5 Fan | | | -----------+----------------+----------------+------------+-------------- Haneman | 6 or 7 Fan | 12,000 | 18,000 | 1.5 x Mangan -----------+----------------+----------------+------------+-------------- Baiman | 8, 9 or 10 Fan | 16,000 | 24,000 | 2 x Mangan -----------+----------------+----------------+------------+-------------- Sanbaiman | 11 or 12 Fan | 24,000 | 36,000 | 3 x Mangan -----------+----------------+----------------+------------+-------------- Yakuman | 13 or more Fan | 32,000 | 48,000 | 4 x Mangan *Several Yaku have a property called Kuisagari which means that they are worth one Fan less when open/exposed ...or one Fan more when closed/concealed, depending on your perspective! ------< SCORING >------------------------------------------------- [Section 13] I'll assume that you're familiar with the basics of Mahjong scoring, with Fu (minipoints) and Fan (doubles). If not, check the links in Section 01. I do however want to explain the method used in Mahjong Taikai IV to calculate the final scores (since I hadn't encountered it before I got the game). The process is as follows:- A. The scores are divided by 1,000 and rounded up or down to a whole number; sometimes the rounded scores need to be adjusted so that they add up to the correct total, for example if the four players started the game with 25,000 points each then the rounded scores must come to 100 in total B. The starting points of 30 (thousand) per person are deducted from each C. The Uma is applied (if any) (see Custom Rule 11 in Section 12 above) D. The Oka is awarded (if any) (see Custom Rule 8) Here are three examples, with the three different starting scores. In each case the standard 5-10 Uma is in use. Example 1 - players started the game with 25,000 pts each (Oka is 20,000 pts) | Placing | Game Score | A | B | C | D --------+-----------+------------+---------+---------+---------+--------- Alice | 1st | 40,300 | +40 | +10 | +20 | +40 --------+-----------+------------+---------+---------+---------+--------- Bob | 2nd | 38,400 | +38 | +8 | +13 | +13 --------+-----------+------------+---------+---------+---------+--------- Carlos | 3rd | 11,600 | +12 | -18 | -23 | -23 --------+-----------+------------+---------+---------+---------+--------- Dave | 4th | 9,700 | +10 | -20 | -30 | -30 Example 2 - players started the game with 27,000 pts each (Oka is 12,000 pts) | Placing | Game Score | A | B | C | D --------+-----------+------------+---------+---------+---------+--------- Alice | 1st | 38,600 | +39 | +9 | +19 | +31 --------+-----------+------------+---------+---------+---------+--------- Bob | 2nd | 27,300 | +27 | -3 | +2 | +2 --------+-----------+------------+---------+---------+---------+--------- Carlos | 3rd | 24,400 | +24 | -6 | -11 | -11 --------+-----------+------------+---------+---------+---------+--------- Dave | 4th | 17,700 | +18 | -12 | -22 | -22 Example 3 - players started the game with 30,000 pts each (no Oka) | Placing | Game Score | A | B | C | D --------+-----------+------------+---------+---------+---------+--------- Alice | 1st | 31,600 | +32 | +2 | +12 | +12 --------+-----------+------------+---------+---------+---------+--------- Bob | 2nd | 30,500 | +30 | 0 | +5 | +5 --------+-----------+------------+---------+---------+---------+--------- Carlos | 3rd | 29,600 | +30 | 0 | -5 | -5 --------+-----------+------------+---------+---------+---------+--------- Dave | 4th | 28,300 | +28 | -2 | -12 | -12 An excellent showing from Alice, although that last game was a bit close! ;) You'll notice that in each example the four final scores (column D) always sum to zero. ------< CHARACTERS >---------------------------------------------- [Section 14] As you're bound to have noticed, there are fifteen characters in the game so (counting you) there are sixteen players in total, obviously a good number for a tournament! They're listed on the middle two pages of the manual under the heading "game opponents introduction" [taikyoku aite shokai] in the following order (from left to right, top to bottom). Since they're all based on real historical figures (with the possible exception of number six!) I've added Wikipedia links so you can read more about them. 1. Oda Nobunaga http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oda_Nobunaga 2. Oichi http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oichi 3. Kinoshita Tokichiro http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinoshita_Tokichiro 4. Tokugawa Ieyasu http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tokugawa_Ieyasu 5. Shokatsu Ryou http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shokatsu-Ryou 6. Chousen http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diao_Chan 7. Gengis Khan http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gengis_Khan 8. Napoleon http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napoleon 9. Cleopatra http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cleopatra 10. Columbus http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_Columbus 11. Musashibou Benkei http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benkei 12. Shizuka Gozen http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shizuka_Gozen 13. Matsuo Bashou http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matsuo_Bashou 14. Sakamoto Ryouma http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sakamoto_ryouma 15. Himiko http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Himiko_(queen) Most have their names written in kanji but the names of the four non-orientals are given in katakana - (Captain) Columbus [(kyaputen) koronbuso], Napoleon [naporeon], Queen Cleopatra [kui-n kereopatora] and Gengis Khan [chingisu ha-n]. The fifth character (the dude with the fan of white feathers), also known as Zhuge Liang or Kongming, was a master tactician in 3rd century China under Liu Bei. Coincidentally I've just seen John Woo's historic epic 'Red Cliff' at the cinema and he's one of the main characters in the movie! :) The sixteenth person depicted is the Guide who represents you throughout the game; her name appears to be Arima Sakurako.* Personally I think the most important thing to know about the characters is how to turn off their stupid pop-up animations that happen every time something (vaguely) interesting happens! You can do this from the Gameplay Options menu which can be accessed either from the main menu (option 6 then option 3) or from the pause menu during play (option 2). See Section 10 for more info. *Sakura means "cherry blossom" and the kanji used for ko means "child". The same kanji is used in Mahjong - in any given hand the dealer is the parent [oya] and the three non-dealers are the children [ko]. ------< ONLINE PLAY >--------------------------------------------- [Section 15] As I noted before, I haven't actually played the game online but I have made a stab at translating some relevant sections from the manual. There are five stages in setting up your profile for online play. First you set your name (up to eight characters long) and choose your character's voice. Then you pick a Title [shoogou] - I'm guessing you select from the ones you've already acquired (see Section 08) - and a picture. Finally there's a confirm- ation message [kakukin no meseji] where you check your details; an example of this is shown in the manual on page 18. The menu for online play is shown on page 19 and the options are as follows: 1. Play Game [taikyoku] 2. Rule Confirmation [ru-ru kakunin] 3. Settings Information [joho settei] 4. Rankings [rankingu] 5. Options [opushon] A grid on page 21 shows the four rule-sets that are available. The four are identical except for two options: Ton-Nan / Ton-Puu (1 or 2 rounds) and Wareme ari / nashi. Otherwise they're the same as the Standard rule-set but with three alterations: (Custom Rule 6) Renchan on Tenpai, (Custom Rule 10) Shaanyuu is nashi and (Custom Rule 11) the Uma is a heavyweight 10-30. In the description of the controls it's explained that the R3 button gives a Chat Menu Display [chatto menyu hyooji] which must apply to online play. Beyond that I'm afraid you're on your own! (If you've played online then I'd appreciate any additional information you can provide for this section, thanks.) ------< CONTACT >------------------------------------------------- [Section 16] I welcome feedback, corrections, contributions and questions about Mahjong Taikai IV, the PS3 version of Mahjong Fight Club and the Mahjong minigames in Yakuza 2 and "Ryu ga Gotoku: Kenzan!". You can email me at barticle at hotmail.com - obviously changing the "at" to an @ and removing the spaces. It would be helpful if you include the word "Mahjong" in the subject line and tell me which game you're playing. Most of the Japanese translations in this guide - and any errors in them - are my own; I'd welcome any corrections to these. I'm aware that I haven't been entirely consistent in my representation of extended vowels sounds either. :\ ------< THANKS >-------------------------------------------------- [Section 17] I would like to thank... o UmaiKeiki for the excellent online Japanese Mahjong glossary o Etsuko for her help reading kanji that I couldn't work out o Zi Rong Low for translating the Titles and the last few fixed rules, also for the excellent diagram! :) o Tom Sloper, eesnov, Shirluban, HotelFSR, Benjamin and Jenn for their help o Everyone else at reachmahjong.com for generally being cool and groovy o Eleanor Noss Whitney for her excellent book o Berlitz, nihongo.j-talk.com and tangorin.com for great language resources o Kraftwerk (and Afrika Bambaataa) for teaching me the Japanese numbers 1 to 4! I will be happy to give credit and thanks to anyone who makes a contribution. -- Mahjong Taikai IV Guide Copyright 2009 James R. Barton Initial version 1.00 completed 20 July 2009 Current version 1.04 completed 10 September 2009 All trademarks and copyrights contained in this document are owned by their respective trademark and copyright holders. This guide may be downloaded and printed for personal, private, non-commercial use only. This work is subject to copyright. It may not be hosted online or otherwise distributed publically or reproduced either in whole or in part without the advance written consent of the author. Any violation would constitute an infringement of copyright and is strictly prohibited. The only websites with the author's consent to publish this guide are GameFAQs (www.gamefaqs.com) and its affiliates (i.e. Gamespot). If you find this file hosted on any other site I would be grateful if you would inform me at the email address given at the top. Thanks!