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MAHJONG GAKUENSAI 2

MAKE SOFTWARE 1998







Description:

Mahjong Gakuensai 2 is a refreshing and original mahjong game with lots of new ideas and concepts that you don't normally see in many other mahjong titles.

One unique feature about the game is its usages of a map for navigation. You don't simply play one opponent after another automatically. Within it, lists varies locations for you to visit. The map is a map of a school which is in the middle of some sort of festival. At each location you visit, you meet up with one of the many characters of the game. Characters you meet may or may not challenge you in a game of mahjong depending on certain conditions you may or may not have met within the game. You might have to beat someone else before you get the chance to challenge another for example. Others tend to move around and can only be challenge when they are at a certain locale.

In this game, your opponents are both female and male. Beating a female opponent will reward you with the traditional striptease. Beating a male opponent, thankfully does not. Instead you are rewarded with points that can be used to purchase various items in the game.

The game system is very different than what you may be accustom to in other mahjong titles. For one, neither players have scores. Instead there's a temperature and health gauge. The temperature gauge fills up depending on your winning score. The more the gauge fills up or, simply, the hotter the temperature gets, the more the opponent takes off in the background. Very nice feature indeed :) The health gauge is like your score. It starts out at 3 bars but decreases a certain amount for each round won by the opponent.

The artwork is simple yet sweet. Nothing is really animated though. Everything is mostly scrolling stills, however there are lots of it, after you win that is, for each female opponent which is a major plus.

The game is much like a RPG in ways. You can only progress the story and beat the game by defeating the opponents, male and female. However, not all female opponents will accept your challenge or are available at the start. You must beat someone else or go to another locale to challenge them. You can also choose to play against the males and slowly gain points to use in the item shops to purchase valuable items which can then be used against the females. There's quite a lot of stuff to do. As a result, the game can take quite awhile for you to finish, which is why this game has a nifty password feature as well. You can enter the password from an old game and continue where you left off.

The difficulty of the game is what may turn you off. This game is hard. I didn't put this game in my "Top Picks for Beginners to Avoid" for nothing. You think it would be easy to win a simple match against the opponent where all you have to do is win 1 or 2 rounds against them to win the entire match instead of the occasional 3 to 5 rounds or 10000 to 30000 of points. It just doesn't seem to be that way. This game's frustration level can be very high at times.

Still don't let the difficulty push you away. The game is a great title simply because of its originality in how it handles the game of mahjong. A truly one of a kind mahjong title.

Difficulty: 5/5
Artwork: 4/5


MAHJONG GAKUENSAI 2
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 are then presented with a game tutorial in which the game screen is explained for you. Read the next section below to get an English understanding of it in case you don't happen to understand Japanese. Press Start to skip and move on.

A cut-scene with one of the characters of the game is shown. I guess she explains a little about the story of the game and what exactly is occurring at the school. Press Start to skip and move on.

Finally the game begins. You are presented with a map of the school:

There are 13 locations to go in total, though not all of them are available at the start of the game. Type the corresponding letter on the map to go to that particular section of the school. Some locales in the game includes classrooms, rooftop, tennis courts, and hallways.

At each location, you meet a certain character in the game. Often times, you will be able to challenge them in a game of mahjong. Sometimes you can't and the game will go back to the game map. Usually that means that you have to challenge them somewhere else or that you need to defeat someone else first before you can challenge them.

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 gauge in the middle of the screen with the hearts along the side.

This gauge starts out empty at the start of the round. It fills up depending on your score when you win. The gauge contains 30 bars, each representing 1000 pts. Each bar fills up depending on your score. 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, 10 bars apiece. Level 1 is blue, Level 2 is orange, and Level 3 is red. Each level changes the amount of clothing the character has in the background. At the start of the round, the character is fully clothed. Each new level reach will changes the amount of clothing the character has in the background. Basically the hotter the temperature, the more clothing they'll take off :)

Health Gauge :

This is the gauge at the bottom of the screen.

This is your life bar. When it empties, you lose the match. You initially start off with 3 bars.

You lose 1 bar whenever you have No-ten in a draw situation against the opponent. You lose 2 bars if the opponent wins with a hand that is worth 3 or less Yakus. You lose 3 bars if the opponent wins with a hand that is worth 4 of more Yakus.

The only way for you to raise the amount of bars in your health is by using items as explained below.

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 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 above 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, the screen is rather plain and simple. Nothing worth mentioning.

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 your health gauge empties out.

If the temperature gauge is not at level 3 after your second win, you have the option to stop the match or continue. "Yes" to continue, "No" to stop. If you continue, you play one more round. Sort of like a sudden death match. Winning the round will make all cut-scenes in the end selectable as if your temperature gauge was at level 3. Losing the round will lose you the match.

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 :

Winning the match will gain you points to use for purchasing items. You receive 1 point for each Yaku made in your winning hand.

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.

There are 9 cut-scenes total, 3 per temperature level.

If your gauge is at level 1 when you win, you can choose to see any 1 cut-scene of the 3 available at level 1. You cannot view ones in the level 2 or 3 section.

If your gauge is at level 2 when you win, you can choose to see any 2 cut-scenes of the 6 available, 3 from level 1 and 3 from level 2. You cannot view ones in the level 3 section.

If your gauge is at level 3 or max out when you win, you can choose to see any 3 cut-scenes of the 9, totaled, available.

Number of Opponents: 11. 7 female opponents and 4 male opponents.
Scoring Multiplier: Type C.
Number of turns per player per round: 18.
Are there Items? Yes. 9 total.
What does Each Item Do? Points for items can only be received from playing male opponents and continuing. You receive 1 point for each Yaku made in your winning hand against a male opponent. You receive 5 points for continuing play after losing a match as well.

The Item Shop is located at C on the map. You can only access the shop when you have enough points to buy something.

Item A - Tile Exchange
Change any tile in your opening hand into another. You can change any tile multiple times until time runs out. You have 10 seconds. This item can only be use at the beginning of a round.

Item B - Long Tile Exchange
Same as Item A except that you have 15 seconds instead of 10.

Item C - Loading Level 1
Makes your opening hand into a more complete and rarer hand. Level 1 version of item. This item can only be used at the beginning of a round.

Item D - Loading Level 2
Level 2 version of Item C.

Item E - Loading Level 3
Level 3 version of Item C.

Item F - Guts Up.
Adds 2 bars to your health gauge. This item can only be used at the beginning of a round.

Item G - Guts Up Special
Fills up your entire health gauge. This item can only be used at the beginning of a round.

Item H - Last Chance
This item gives you a chance to win the round in a draw situation if you have Tenpai. You choose from 1 of 5 tiles faced down. 1 tile is the tile needed to go out, the other 4 are not. You win the round if you select the right one. This item can only be used in a draw situation when you have Tenpai.

Item I - Tenpai's Richi Stick
After declaring Reach, the next tile you draw will be the winning tile needed to go out. This item can only be used after declaring Reach.

Can you Bet? No.
Locations on the map?

There are 13 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 - Science Fiction Club
B - School's Roof
C - Item Research Group
D - Manga Club
E - Main Character's Classroom
F - Newspaper Area
G - Nurse's Office
H - Tennis Court
I - Photography Area
J - Astronomy/Heavenly Body Observatory :)
K - Gymnasium
L - Audio/Visual Room
M - Game Room

Where is everyone?

Each character is usually located at a certain location on the map. However, some characters 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.

Characters
Locations and Descriptions
Visit H twice. On the second visit, you meet her but cannot challenge her. Now go to E to challenge her. 
Visit A. You cannot challenge her yet. Beat the guy at D. Now go back to A to challenge her. 
Visit I. You cannot challenge her. Now go to K to challenge her.
Beat the guy at D. Now beat the same guy at L. Now go back to L to challenge her.
Beat the guy at K. Now go to G to challenge her.
Go to B to challenge her.
Go to F to challenge him. Each time you win, a newspaper clipping shows up on screen showing a photo of one of the girls. You can only challenge him nine times. 
Go to K to challenge him. After your first win, he moves to M where you can challenge him as much as you want.
Go to J to challenge him. You can play against him as much as you want. He also makes appearances in other places. He appears on your third visit to H. He also appears at I.
Go to D to challenge him. After your first win, he moves to L. He disappears after you beat him at L. He appears again at D if you visit A for the first time.
She appears on your first visit to M. You cannot challenge her. However, once you beat all 6 girls, she appears again and challenges you as your last opponent. Each player has initial scores in your match against her. Yet that doesn't really matter all too much since whoever wins first wins the match.
She appears at I once you beat the guy at F six times. You cannot challenge her.
She appears on your first visit to H. You cannot challenge her.
She appears in the introduction after you enter your name and watch or skip the opening tutorial. You cannot challenge her.

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? 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.

You also get 5 points to use to purchase items for continuing as well.

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.

Dip Switch Screen 1
Setting Description
A. ??? ???
B. Coin Initial Set-Up Coins per Credit.

Default is 1 coin for 1 credit.

C. Demo Sound A Turn on/off music during demo/attract mode.

Choose Yes to turn on or No to Turn off.

Default is Yes.

D. Demo Sound B Turn on/off voices during demo/attract mode.

Choose Yes to turn on or No to Turn off.

Default is Yes.

E. Game Sound Turn on/off music during game play.

Choose Yes to turn on or No to Turn off.

Default is Yes.

Dip Switch Screen 2
Setting Description
A. TV Flip Flip screen.

Default is normal.

B. Continue Time's Auto Tumo ???

Default is No.

C. Richi Time's Auto Tsumo If you choose Yes, tiles are drawn and discarded automatically by the computer after declaring Reach until you receive a tile that you can go out with.. If you choose No, you must manually draw and discard after Reaching.

Default is Yes.

D. Guts and Stars Initial Set-Up Change amount of Health Bars and Stars you and opponent start off with at the beginning of the match when challenging a female opponent.

Default is 3 health bars for you and 2 stars for your opponent.

E. Continue Slot's Odds Change odds of winning 1-Line Slot Machine after continuing???

Default is 1/8 odds.

Much thanks goes to Justin Carmical for providing English name translations of game items, game locations, and Dip Switch settings.