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MAHJONG GAKUENSAI

MAKE SOFTWARE 1997







Description:

You should probably read the description for Mahjong Gakuensai 2 first as this page is essentially a comparison of the two.

Mahjong Gakuensai is very similar to its sequel in both concept and game structure, as it should. However there are many differences between the two, besides characters and locales of course, that sets the two games apart.

In part 2, the map consisted only of a school campus for you to navigate your character around. In this game, you are able to navigate around an entire town. Well, maybe just a portion of a town that is. The great thing about the map is that its full of life and activity. People are moving from place to place. Trains constantly arrives on one side of the screen into a train station at the middle of the map and depart away to the other side. If you are about to cross the train tracks and a train comes by, the gates would actually close and you would have to stop to a halt until the train goes by and the gates open up again. There are even stray dogs roaming around town as well.

There are a variety of  locales to visit within the map. There's a school, bookstore, coffee house, even a mahjong parlor. You may meet one or two characters per visit.

Mahjong challengers are again both male and female. Beating a female opponent will reward you with the traditional striptease. The amount she takes off will depend on what level the temperature gauge is filled at after you win. Beating a male opponent does not reward you with points as in part two, but instead rewards you with either an item, a photo, or absolutely nothing.

The game structure is quite different when facing a female opponent than in part 2. For one, there is no female opponent displayed in the background as the temperature gauge only affects the cut-scenes at the end of the match. The background is made up of a single plain color that changes after each round. Besides that, your health is now a single heart. It sucks because if you lose a single round, you lose the heart and the entire match. In part 2, where you had a health meter, you could have survived the first lost if the opponent won by a lousy hand. You also still have to win by two to win the match.

As can be seen by the title screen, photography is a key theme in this game. The theme carries out much more better in this game than in part 2. For example, some female opponents will only challenge you once you retrieve a photo for them from someone else. Also each time you defeat a female opponent, you get to take a photo of them. There are 3 different photos that you can take of each depending on the level the temperature gauge is at when you win.

The artwork is quite nice. It's great that each character has more than one outfit that they wear throughout the game depending on the location they're at. Plus the game is much more animated than its sequel, though not as heavily animated as other games like SRMP7.

The game, while not as difficult as its sequel, is still fairly high. Mahjong isn't the only difficult part. Trying to track down each character and getting the female ones to challenge you can take quite some time as well.

A solid mahjong title with plenty to offer.

Difficulty: 5/5
Artwork: 4/5


MAHJONG GAKUENSAI
MINI FAQ

Starting the game: At the very start of the game, you are asked whether you want to type in a password or not. Press A for Yes and N for No. Yes brings you to the password screen, while No skips it and moves on. More on passwords later.

After that, you get to type in a name for yourself. If you want to do so, go ahead. Otherwise press Start to skip and move on.

You first have to defeat the opening opponent before you are presented with the game map. The map is a map of a town:

There are 11 locations to go in total, though not all of them are available at the start. Type the corresponding letter on the map to go to that particular part of the town. Some locales in the game includes a high school, coffee house, and burger joint.

At each location, you may meet one or two characters in the game. Some will challenge you in a game of mahjong while others will not. If not, you will go back to the game map. Not being able to challenge a certain character usually means that you have to challenge them somewhere else or that you need to defeat someone else first before you can challenge them.

Often times, a male character will challenge you each time you meet one of them. A female character will likely not challenge you until you do something else as stated above.

Note that challenging a female opponent is completely different than challenging a male opponent in both game structure and rewards.

About the game screen:

This is the game screen when facing a female opponent.

Temperature Gauge :

This is the colorful temperature gauge on screen.

This gauge starts out empty at the start of the round. It fills up depending on your total score after you win. The gauge contains 30 bars, each representing 1000 pts. Getting a score of 5200, for example, will fill up 5 bars of the gauge and 1/5 of the sixth. You fill the gauge to max whenever you get a total score of 30000 pts or more.

The gauge is divided into 3 levels. Level 1 is blue, Level 2 is orange, and Level 3 is red. The gauge may not always be divided equally between Levels, that is 10 bars per Level. Sometimes, for instances, the Level 1 region may be longer than the Level 2 and 3 region of the gauge. Or sometimes the Level 2 region may be longer while the Level 1 region is the shortest. It varies for each female character.

The amount the gauge is filled up determines the cut-scenes shown after the end of the match once you defeated the opponent. Basically it determines the degree of clothing that the opponent will take off during the cut-scenes. So basically the more you fill up the gauge, or simply the hotter the gauge gets, the more the opponent will take off :)

Hearts :

This is your health. You start off with only one heart but can increase it to two if you receive an item that does so.

You lose a heart for each round lost against the opponent.

You lose half a heart if you end a round with No-ten.

Once all hearts are gone, you lose the match. 

Film and Stars :

The stars at the top of the screen represents the amount of rounds that you need to win against the opponent. A star disappears for each round you win. You win the match when all stars are gone. There are 2 stars at the start of the round for each opponent which means that you have to beat the opponent twice to win the match.

The symbol on each roll of film is, of course, your wind association for that round. The text to the left of the Dealer's and Reach Counter tells you what the prevailing wind for that round is. In the screenshot above, the prevailing wind is East.

This is the game screen when facing a male opponent.

As you can see, there is no temperature gauge, hearts, or stars presented on screen like there is against a female opponent. Nothing special, just straight out mahjong.

Who Starts First? There are no dice rolls. You are always dealer for the opening round of a match.
How to Win/Lose a Match? Note that there are no scores for any player.

Against Male Opponents :

To win the match, you need to win one round. A new round begins in the case of a draw situation.

You lose the match if you lose one round against the opponent.

Against Female Opponents :

To win the match, you need to win 2 rounds against the opponent.

You lose the match when all your hearts are gone.

Note that if you fill the temperature gauge to the max in only your first round, you still have to play another to win the match.

Reward for Winning Match: Against Male Opponents :

Beating a male opponent rewards you with either an item, a photo, or absolutely nothing.

You receive items only from challenge male opponents at locations A and F on the game map. Playing against them anywhere else will not reward you with any items.

Also each time you defeat the guy with the camera, you get to see one of several photos containing the females of the game.

Against Female Opponents :

Winning the match will let you view a certain amount of cut-scenes of the opponent depending on the level the temperature gauge is filled at after you win.

The more you fill up the gauge or simply, the hotter the temperature on the gauge is after you win, the more the opponent will take off in the cut-scenes.

You also get to take a photo of them as well. The photo taken also changes depending on the level the gauge is at after you win. 

Number of Opponents: 9. 6 female opponents and 3 male opponents.
Scoring Multiplier: Type C.
Number of turns per player per round: 18.
Are there Items? Yes. 3 total.
What does Each Item Do? Items can only be received by defeating the male opponents at locations A and F. You get an item after your end score is calculated. A message will appear at the bottom of the screen announcing the item received. If you don't know Japanese you probably won't know what you got until you actually use it in play.

Items can only be used when playing against a female opponent. Items are used automatically and are used at the very start of the first round of a match. It also seems that you can't carry more than one of each item. So if you get the same item again, you don't actually get it.

Here are the 3 items that you can get. It seems that what you get after winning is random:

1. Makes your opening hand into a more complete and rarer hand.

2. Gives you 10 seconds to change any tiles in your opening hand into another. You can change the tiles as many times as you want until the time runs out.

3. Adds another heart to your health.

Note that Locale A can be visited once you meet the brown-haired girl who lives there at D.

Can you Bet? No.
Locations on the map?

There are 11 locations available, each can be visited by pressing the corresponding letter for that locale. Not all locations may be available at the same time:

A - Bookstore
B - Apartments B
C - Apartments C
D - Train Station
E - Burger Joint
F - House F
G - High School
H - House H
I - Photography Shop
J - Mahjong Parlor
K - Coffee House

Where is everyone?

Each character is usually located at a certain location on the map. However, many characters tend to move around from place to place. Some locations as well as opponents can only be unlocked if you beat someone else before hand.

Note that each location is described by the letter associated with it. Also since I don't have a clue what the names of any of the characters are, I'll just distinguish them by hair color. Kind of lame, but it works :)

Characters
Locations and Descriptions
You challenge her at the very start of the game.
Go to E to meet her. You can't challenge her. Now go to K. You first meet the green-haired guy who challenges you. Beat him and you will then meet her. She will bring you to C where you will be able to challenge her.
You must first beat the green-haired girl before you can challenge her.

Go to B to meet her. You can't challenge her. You, then, meet the photo guy who challenges you. Beat him, then go to J. You meet her again but can't challenge her. You, then, meet the photo guy once more who challenges you. Beat him, then go to E. You meet her again but can't challenge her. You, then, meet the green-haired guy who challenges you. Beat him, then go to J. You will meet her again where you will be able to challenge her.

Go to H to meet her. You can't challenge her. You, then, meet the photo guy who challenges you. Beat him. If H did not disappear from the map go back to H again and do the same as before. After that, go to G. You meet her but, again, you can't challenge her. You, then, meet the green-hair guy who challenges you. Beat him, then go to I. You meet the photo guy who challenges you. Note that you will also likely be able to find him in other locations on the map besides at I. Beat him, get the photo, and go to G. You will be able to challenge her there. If you meet the pink-haired girl, go to G again once you return to the game map.
You must first beat the blue-haired girl before you can challenge her.

Go to I. You see her along with the photo guy. Now go to C. You meet the photo guy who challenges you. Note that you will also likely be able to find him in other locations on the map as well besides C. Beat him, get the photo, and go to G. You will be able to challenge her there.

You must beat all 5 female opponents mentioned above before you can challenge her.

Go to A to challenge her. 

He is located at F. You can go there to challenge him and get items when you defeat him.

He also appears at A. Beating him there can get you items as well.

He makes an appearance at C but is not challengeable.

He also appears at A. Beating him there can get you items as well.

He makes appears in other locations as well. Though in those locations, you receive nothing for beating him. 

He, the photo guy, appears in several locations. Beating him will let you view one of several photos that he has taken displaying the females of the game. He has 11 photos total for viewing. Only one can be seen per win.
Non-challengeable character. However she is challengeable in part 2.

She makes an appearance at D.

Non-challengeable character. However she is challengeable in part 2.

She makes an appearance at G once you defeat the pink-haired girl.

Female characters may appear in other locations as well, but will likely not be challengeable in those areas.

Are there any Secrets? None that I know of.
Anything else? Note that you receive a 1000 pt bonus in your winning score for each Reach Stick as well as for each 100-pt sticks (Dealer's Counter) on table.

Password :

If you lose the match and let the continue screen count down to zero, a screen will then appear with a password. You can use this password in a later game to continue where you left off. You can enter the password at the very start of the game. Answer "Yes" by typing A at the first message they present to you when starting the game.

Controls in Password Screen:

A-M : Enter in corresponding letters in password.
Kong : Enter in symbol 1.
Pon : Enter in symbol 2.
Ron : Forward.
Reach : Backspace.
Start : Enter password.
Chi : Skip entering password and move on.

Name Entering :

Controls in Name Entering Screen:

A : Move cursor to the left.
B : Move cursor up.
N : Move cursor to the right.
M : Move cursor down.
Ron : Enter character on cursor.
Reach : Backspace.
Start : Enter and move on.

Continuing :

Each time you continue the game after losing a match, you get to try your luck on the slot machine. The machine spins and you press the corresponding keyboard letters to stop it. If all three slots match up with the same girl, then you win. You gain an extra credit as reward.

Dip Switch :

Press F2 to access the Dip Switch. Once the ROMs are checked, a control testing screen appears. Hold the Ron key or the N key to access the Dip Switch settings. Press the corresponding letters to change settings in the game. That is, if you understand what each setting is since everything is in Japanese.