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TAISEN HOT GIMMICK 3 - DIGITAL SURFING

PSIKYO 1999







Description:

This is the third installment of the Taisen Hot Gimmick series by Psikyo. This has become my new favorite mahjong game in MAME particularly because I love the theme of the game which is, of course, digital surfing. The whole layout and presentation of the game appears as if you were using your own personal computer. It really is if you're playing with MAME :) As the Psikyo logo appears, for example, Windows icons appear on screen as if you were loading up your PC computer readying to get online. The game logo appears boxy at first but becomes clearer as the image loads on screen. Even texts are displayed in Windows boxes as well.

There are 3 modes of play in this game. The first is a Vs. mode for 2-players.

The 2nd mode is the main mode of the game, the Digital Surfing mode. From what I can make out, the story goes something like this:

You are surfing the net late in the night. You've been viewing too much porn sites and have become completely absorbed in it. As a result, you, literally, become sucked into the Internet world into the deepest parts of the World Wide Web. The only exit out can only be met through the game of mahjong. You go from web site to web site, challenging opponents of the page in the hopes of finding your way out.

It does make a bit of sense. You get sucked into the Internet and mahjong is the key to getting out. Mahjong is the solution to everything :)

What I love about the Hot Gimmick series is its incredible artwork. The artwork in this game is just as great, if not better than the first two simply because of its variety. Unlike the first two, each opponent is illustrated by a different artist. As a result, each character is illustrated differently, yet the amount of detail and quality for each is just the same. Some of these characters look stunning and are very original in character design to say the least. Another neat thing is that the actual homepage of each artist is shown in the game as well when you meet each opponent.

The Jan Boy Story Mode is the third mode of play. In this mode, you play as Jan Boy who travels throughout Japan in search of his father who has mysterious disappeared. During your search you meet a cast of characters, each of which challenge you in the game of mahjong. Everything is depicted with real-life characters. Each of them are strange to say the least. Just wait tell you see the last opponent, particularly its way of entrance or should I say its way of exit :) It's strange, but at the same time, just plain out funny. You can never predict what will happen next in the story which makes this mode so much fun and interesting to play.

The game is fairly easy. Opponent's don't win or Reach as often as in other games and the fact that you win the round if you have Tenpai and the opponent has No-ten adds up to the easy difficulty. Plus, opponent's scores are not as high as in other games. However this game does use a different scoring scheme than most other mahjong games (Tsumo is only 2x) which makes up for the low score.

Difficulty: 2/5
Artwork: 5/5

 

TAISEN HOT GIMMICK 3 - DIGITAL SURFING
MINI FAQ

Who Starts First? Dices are rolled at the start of each match. If the dices add up to an odd number, you are dealer. If it adds up to an even number, the opponent is dealer.
How to Win/Lose a Match? You can win the match by decreasing the opponent's score to zero or less. You can also win by winning three rounds against the opponent. Whichever comes first (Note that you also win the round in a draw situation in which you have Tenpai and the opponent has No-ten).

You lose the match when your score decreases to zero or less. 

Number of Opponents: 10.
Each Opponent's Score at Opening Round: Digital Surfing Mode:
5000, 6000, 7000, 7000, 8000, 9000, 10000, 11400, 12800, 18000.

Jan Boy Story Mode:
5000, 6000, 7000, 7000, 8000, 9000, 10000, 11400, 16000, 22000.

Your Score at Opening Round: 1000.

Points Gain/Lose when Tenpai/No-Ten:

1000.
Points Lose when Reach: 1000.

When you declare Reach and discard the unwanted tile, the game automatically takes over for you. The game automatically draws and discards for you until a tile comes up that you can go out with. You can bypass the tile and wait for another if you choose to do so.

Scoring Multiplier: Type B.
Number of turns per player per round: 18.
Are there Items? Yes, 6 total.
What does Each Item Do?

Item A. This item lets you discard any tiles in your opening hand and replace them with other random tiles. This item can only be used at the start of the round.

Item B. This item changes your opening hand into a more complete and rarer hand. This item can only be used at the start of the round.

Item C. This item changes your opening hand into a more complete and rarer hand. This item is better than Item B. This item can only be used at the start of the round.

Item D. This item changes your opening hand into a more complete and rarer hand. This item is better than Item C. This item can only be used at the start of the round.

Item E. This item changes your opening hand into a more complete and rarer hand. This item is better than Item D. This item can only be used at the start of the round.

Item F. This item makes the next tile, after declaring Reach, into the winning tile you need to go out. This item can only be used after declaring Reach.

Points for Items are not received by what you score for your hand but by the +400 POW bonus that you receive randomly when drawing tiles during the round. Each POW you get gives you 400 pts that can be used to buy items. You also get an additional 1000 pts if you continue the game after losing a match.

Can you Bet? No.
Are there any Secrets?

There are 2 secret characters in the game, one per story mode.

In the Digital Surfing mode, the hidden character is Meruti Melty. You can play against her only if you defeated each of the first 9 characters without punishing any. That is, choosing the last option, C,  from the menu screen that shows up after beating each opponent. She will appear before the last opponent. Input the commands M, E, L while the screen flashes random websites.
In the Jan Boy story mode, the hidden character is Jong Arika. He appears before the last opponent. To play against him, you must not buy any items prior to meeting him.
Dip Switch: To access the dip switch, or Test mode as the game calls it, press F2.

Press A to move the cursor down, B to move it up, and Start to select.

Test Mode Screen
Setting Description
Screen Test Test Screen
Input Test Test Control Buttons
Acoustics Test Test Sound Effects, Voices, and Music
Hard's Initial Set-Up Adjust Hard Settings
Game's Initial Set-Up Adjust Game Settings
Initial Set-Up Default Restore back to default settings.

Note that the default settings in MAME is slightly different from the actual default setting of the game.

Test End Exit Test Mode

Hard's Initial Set-Up Screen
Setting Description
1P Monitor Screen Flip Flip screen
2P Monitor Screen Flip Flip screen
Credits Adjust Coins per Credit.

Default is 1/1. 1 coin for 1 credit.

Monitors and Link-Up Adjust monitor display and link-up.

Default is 2 monitors display and link-up, allowing for versus battle between the two monitors.

Second option is 2 monitor display but no link-up.

The third options turns off the second monitor. Note that the game runs much smoother with this option selected as you get a big boast in FPS. Plus game speed is not slowed down at all.

Demo Sound Adjust demo sound.

Default is on.

Menu Return Return to Test Mode menu.

Game's Initial Set-Up Screen
Setting Description
Player's Starting Pts. Adjust the amount of points that you start off with at the beginning of every match.

Default in MAME is 1000 points.

Actual default setting is 2000 points.

Computer's Starting Pts. Adjust the amount of points that the opponent starts off with at the beginning of every match.

Can choose from Few, Normal, Lots, or Whole Lot.

Default in MAME is Few.

Actual default setting is Normal.

Vs. Battle Starting Pts. Adjust the amount of points that each player starts off with at the beginning of a Vs. match.

Default in MAME is 10000 points.

Actual default setting is 20000 points.

Difficulty Level Adjust game difficulty.

Can choose from Easy, Normal, Hard, or Very Hard.

Default in MAME is Easy.

Actual default setting is Normal.

Richi After On default, tiles are drawn and discarded automatically by the computer after declaring Reach until you receive a tile that you can go out with.. If the 2nd option is chosen, you must manually draw and discard after Reaching.
Undressing Choose Yes for nudity or No for none. You can't punish the opponent if you choose No. 

Default is Yes. 

Sparrow Power Technique ???

Default is Yes.

Menu Return Return to Test Mode menu.
Dual Screen to Single Screen: If you want to get rid of the dual screen display, play the game using MAME32 Plus. It can be found at their homepage which is located by the following link:

http://mameplus.emu-france.com

In this version of MAME, dual screen support is disabled within the Psikyo driver. As a result, only one screen is displayed when playing the game. There may also be other MAME builts that eliminates the dual screen problem as well.

There is also an option in the dip switch that allows you to turn off the 2nd screen. Though that doesn't get rid of the 2nd screen as it is still displayed, except that now the screen is blank.

Anything else? Only 1 Ura Dora Indicator is revealed for winning after Reach. No Ura Dora Indicators underneath Kan Dora Indicators, if there are any, are revealed.

After defeating an opponent in Digital Surfing Mode, you have the opportunity to select one of three choices. Picking A or B gives you the chance to punish the opponent by continuous hits. Repeatedly press any of the tile buttons during the cut-scene to see the animation unfold. Or you can choice not to punish the opponent by selecting the third option, C. 

In Jan Boy Story Mode, a cut-scene is shown for winning as well as losing. During the continue screen a cut-scene is shown that shows your opponent harassing your character in varies ways. Of course, if you win, a cut-scene is shown in which you harass the opponent. Very funny stuff :)