Dec 102017
 
Nels Anderson's VGA and SVGA Man Jongg II game.

Full Description of File


Dragons Bane: Mah Jongg II v1.0: solitaire.
Second generation tile solitaire with SVGA
and VGA support and digitized sound effects.
Many play options, wide variety of available
tile sets and board layouts. Editor included
for both tiles and layouts. Extensive record
keeping. By Nels Anderson (ASP).


File DRGNBN10.ZIP from The Programmer’s Corner in
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Nels Anderson’s VGA and SVGA Man Jongg II game.
File Name File Size Zip Size Zip Type
ANTIGRAV.BRD 2333 82 deflated
BABYDRGN.BRD 2335 92 deflated
DRAGBW1.PCX 62735 26187 deflated
DRAGON.DOC 51613 16746 deflated
DRAGON.EXE 310288 130442 deflated
DRAGON.GXL 745796 386366 deflated
DRAGON.HLP 2720 1280 deflated
DRAGON.TXT 9242 3720 deflated
FACTORY.DOC 25103 8492 deflated
FACTORY.EXE 275632 117968 deflated
FACTORY.GXL 30819 10424 deflated
FACTORY.HLP 3635 1614 deflated
FILE_ID.DIZ 307 216 deflated
GENAV.TL 50301 14436 deflated
GENAV.TXT 9292 3952 deflated
LAYOUT.HLP 1319 665 deflated
LEVELS.BRD 2333 108 deflated
MAHJONGG.BRD 2333 91 deflated
MAHJONGG.TL 52505 9242 deflated
MAHJONGG.TLV 54288 10365 deflated
MEDIEVAL.TL 63956 22243 deflated
MEDIEVAL.TLV 55578 16817 deflated
MEDIEVAL.TXT 1568 834 deflated
MILL1.PCX 68011 50778 deflated
ORDERFRM.TXT 3703 1021 deflated
ROSES1.PCX 71404 47177 deflated
SHAREWRE.TXT 2069 895 deflated
SIEGE.TL 49644 15201 deflated
SIEGE.TLV 53809 14264 deflated
SIEGE.TXT 1319 625 deflated
UKORDER.TXT 2607 689 deflated
VENDINFO.DIZ 10633 4990 deflated
VENDOR.TXT 4651 1944 deflated

Download File DRGNBN10.ZIP Here

Contents of the DRAGON.DOC file



Dragons Bane: Mah Jongg II
Version 1.0 June 1, 1995

Nels Anderson
585 Edmands Road
Framingham, MA 01701 U.S.A.

FAX: 508-788-1363
BBS: 508-788-6951
CompuServe: 71020,2613
email: [email protected]
WWW: http://www.ultranet.com/~nels/

INTRODUCTION

Dragons Bane: Mah Jongg II is a second generation version of the popular
tile solitaire game. The original idea for the game is supposed to
originate with the Chinese some 3000 years ago. This version updates the
game a bit--about 2000 years or so. The original pyramid shaped pile of
tiles used in the game is known as "the dragon" by the Chinese. In this
version you take the part of a medieval knight trying to defeat that
dragon. Using your skill you will attempt to be the dragon's bane--the
person who can defeat it!

Dragons Bane: Mah Jongg II goes far beyond the original solitaire game.
It includes support for both VGA and SuperVGA graphics and SoundBlaster
digitized sound effects. It lets you play the original "dragon" layout
plus many others--you can even create your own! It allows you to use a
wide variety of tile sets, not just the original Chinese tiles. A separate
tile editor is included too, so you can make your own custom tiles. The
game includes many options and keeps statistics of your game play if you
wish. Though you can learn the game in five minutes you'll find yourself
playing it for years.

Under the Shareware system you may freely try out this program, but if you
continue to use it you are expected to register with the author and pay
the $16 (plus $2 shipping) registration fee. In return for your
registration you'll receive the latest version of the game with the
shareware notices removed, a statistics editor, plus additional tile sets,

background pictures and board layouts. There is also a "deluxe" version
available which adds a binder and printed manual; the actual game software
is identical to the standard version. The "deluxe" version is $24 (plus $4
shipping). Please note that all prices are U.S. dollars.

If you live in the U.K. you can register through Nildram Software. Please
print the file "UKORDER.TXT" for an order form all ready to go or just
send #12.95 to:

Nildram Software
82 Akeman Street
Tring
Herts HP23 6AF

When you register, please let me know what version you have and I'd also
be interested in knowing where you got it from. Please, make sure to put
your name and address on the letter! It's amazing how many people don't do
this. Even better, you can use the instant registration form in the file
"ORDERFRM.TXT". Just copy the file to your printer using the DOS copy
command ("copy orderfrm.txt prn" will do it; do not indent or use a
proportionally spaced font and it will print just fine).

If you live outside the U.S., the best way to register appears to be by
using postal money orders. I've received these from quite a few countries.
In general, foreign checks are not accepted by U.S. banks. Canadian checks
are an exception, but please allow for the difference in U.S. and Canadian
dollars. EuroCheques, for example, are not acceptable to the bank. You
can also charge your registration to VISA or MasterCard.

Want to get the registered version RIGHT NOW? You can by calling Software
Creations BBS and using their online store to order and immediately
download the registered version. You can reach Software Creations by
calling 508-368-7036 (up to 14.4 kbps modems) or 508-368-6604 (up to 28.8
kbps modems). Once you've logged on and reached the main menu just use
the command STORE and follow the instructions.

If you don't understand the term "Shareware" please read the file
"SHAREWRE.TXT".

If you have any suggestions or discover any problems with the program you
can reach me via the Xevious BBS (PCBoard) system (supports 300 through
28800 bps, HST/v.32/v.34, 8N1) at 508-788-6951. Leave a C)omment to the
sysop to reach me. Xevious is the official support BBS for all my software
and the latest versions are always available for downloading there. There
is also a support conference for people to exchange game tips or ask
questions. J)oin conference #31 and check out the latest tips. Also check
B)ulletin #1 for the latest versions list.

You can register Dragons Bane: Mah Jongg II while on Xevious using your
VISA or MasterCard. Once logged in, use the command "CREDIT" and just
answer the prompts.

You can also reach Xevious through RelayNet. If there's a RelayNet board
in your area send a routed message to me at node XEVIOUS. The Shareware
conference would be the best choice, but if that's not available try Games
or even Common.

I'm also available through CompuServe. Send email to me at 71020,2613. Or
join me and many other Shareware authors in the Shareware forum (GO
SHAREWARE). Internet users can reach me via email using the address
[email protected]

Of course you can also write me at the address at the beginning of this
file. If you're not a registered user please include a self-addressed,
stamped envelope.


MEMORY REQUIREMENTS: Dragons Bane: Mah Jongg II requires about 530k of
conventional memory and about 1.0 meg of either expanded or extended
memory. You must be running a memory manager such as HIMEM/EMM386 (which
come with MS-DOS) or QEMM. A properly set up system using any memory
manager should easily have more than 530k of conventional memory available.

While the game will work with either expanded or extended memory, expanded
is preferred as the game will run faster. If you are using QEMM you should
not have to do anything as QEMM can allocate available memory as either
expanded or extended. If using EMM386 make sure you have 1 meg of memory
allocated as expanded for best operation.

VIDEO REQUIREMENTS: Dragons Bane: Mah Jongg II supports both 256 color
SVGA and standard 16 color VGA graphics modes. Since there are no industry
wide standards for SVGA it's not possible to support all video cards in
this mode. The game does support many video cards in their native SVGA
mode and should also support any video card that is capable of VESA 1.2
graphics (specifically, the game uses VESA mode 101). If your video card
cannot handle SVGA mode the game will automatically run in standard 16
color VGA graphics. Note that some VESA 1.2 compatible video cards require
that you load an external driver before this mode can be used; check your
video card manual if you have problems.

MOUSE USAGE: Dragons Bane: Mah Jongg II can be played with either your
keyboard or with a mouse. Most people will find a mouse easier. To be able
to use a mouse you must have a mouse driver loaded before running the
game. The driver should have come with your mouse when you bought it and
installation instructions should have been included with the mouse
documentation. In general, the mouse driver is either an .exe file that
you can run at any time or a .sys file that is included in your
"config.sys" file making it load when you boot your computer. Mouse
drivers are frequently updated by manufacturers so if you have any
problems with your mouse check to see if an updated driver is available.


*****************************************************************************
* PLAYING THE GAME *
*****************************************************************************

OBJECT

The object of the game is to remove all the tiles from the playing board.
Tiles can only be removed as matching pairs. Tiles must also be free
before they can be removed, on either the left or right side and also
above. Any tile that is even partially blocked on the sides or on a higher
level cannot be removed.

The game places the tiles randomly so some boards cannot be won. This is
fairly uncommon, though, and it's been found that around 90% of all boards
can be completed.

You can approach the game in different ways. Some people simply play each
board number in order and just do as well as they can. Others will play
each board number repeatedly until they either beat it or prove it cannot
be won. The choice is up to you. Play the game as a simple diversion and
stress reliever or approach it methodically and record your results or
anywhere in between.

Strategy involves looking for the best move at any given time and also
looking several moves ahead to try to find ways to remove tiles that are
blocking many other tiles. The game offers assistance by finding moves for
you, finding matches, showing where tiles are hidden, allowing you to undo
and redo moves and recording past moves. Some people consider using all
these hints to be cheating. Use them as often or as little as you wish.

SUITS OF TILES

The original versions of this type of solitaire use Chinese tiles that are
also used for other games, including the four player "mah jongg" game that
is similar to the card game rummy. It's even been said that the solitaire
game originated with the Chinese. It certainly makes sense that many games
would be played with the tiles just like many different games are played
with cards.

Tile sets consist of 42 tiles. In the original Chinese tiles (try the tile
set MAHJONGG.TL for an example) there are two kinds of suits. Most of the
tiles, the first 34, are normal suits while the remaining eight tiles form
two suits of wild cards.

The game puts four of each normal tile on the playing board and to remove
them you must find tiles that are exact matches. However, only one of each
tile from the two wild card suits is used and any wild card matches any
other wild card in the same suit. The Chinese tiles have wild card suits
made up of the four seasons and flowers, so any of the four flowers
matches any other and any season matches any other season.

Obviously the Chinese tiles are not the only set of tiles used with this
game. Still, the same rules are always used for tiles in the same position
within the tile set. The first 34 tiles will always require an exact match
and tiles 35 through 38 will always comprise one wild card suit while
tiles 39 through 42 will comprise the other wild card suit. When trying a
new set of tiles you'll probably have to use the View Tile Set function
(in the Options menu) to see what tiles fall into each suit.

There is one other possibility that you will find in some tile sets. Some
sets use the exact same tile in all four positions in the wild card suits.
This effectively eliminates the wild cards. When playing the game with
this type of tile set you'll be required to find exact matches for all
tiles.

LAYOUTS

The standard layout of tiles is a five level pyramid shape that the
Chinese call "the dragon". In this layout you'll find several key tiles:
the one on the very top of the pyramid that blocks four piles of tiles
below it and the tiles on the far left and right edges which block two
rows of tiles. Strategy suggests that you try to remove these four tiles
first.

Many alternate layouts are available too. You can even make your own
layouts (see the Layout Editor section of this manual for details). The
layout has a great effect on how difficult it is to win the game. Some
layouts are virtually impossible while others are almost trivially easy.

Some very interesting layouts are possible, such as inverted pyramids and
shapes that are hollow in the middle. The result is that it's sometimes
not obvious which tiles are free. Just remember the rules: the tile must
be free both directly above and either on the left or on the right. On
some of the layouts you'll find some rather surprising places where tiles
are free.


*****************************************************************************
* USING THE MENUS *
*****************************************************************************

The game is controlled from the menu bar which is along the top of the
screen at all times. The more common menu items also have keyboard
shortcuts. The shortcut keys are shown in the menus and there is also a
section of this manual that lists all the available shortcuts.

To use any of the menus move the mouse pointer to the name of the menu
that you want (File or Options for example) and click. This will open up
the menu with a list of further options for you to click on. Some items
will require additional selections but you will always be prompted for
what is needed. Each menu is described in detail below.

HELP MENU

Selecting help brings up a series of screens that offer a brief
introduction to the game. This is adequate for beginners to get started
but to really understand the game you need to read this manual as you are
now doing.

INFO MENU

This selection brings up a single screen with information about the game,
how to contact the author, etc.

FILE MENU

This menu is the main control for the game. It lets you start a new game,
replay the current board, load tiles, layouts or pictures and load or save
games. It also lets you get to the layout editor.

New Game
--------

When you're ready to start a new game select this function. A brand new
board will be displayed. Each board is numbered for the purposes of record
keeping (if you so desire) and which board number is used depends on the
setting of the Next Board Number selection under the Options menu. You can
have new board numbers selected either sequentially or randomly. Most
people won't care about the board number. However, if you are interested
in statistics or methodical game play you may wish to select sequential
board numbers.

Start Over
----------

If you get stuck but want to try the same board number again from the
start use this function. The tiles will all be returned and the timer, if
used, reset so you can try again.

Load Tiles
----------

Many tile sets are available and when you're ready for a change this is
the function to use. A file selection box will pop up showing the tile
sets (files ending in .TL or .TLV) that are available. If you've put your
tile sets in a different directory you can select the directory name to
move there or select Close to move up a directory level. The normal
installation of the game puts all the files in the same directory so
normally you won't have to worry about changing directories.

NOTE: To use most tile sets created by other users (i.e., tiles that you
might find on a BBS or in a shareware catalog) you must have the
registered version of the game.

Load Picture
------------

You have several choices for backgrounds on the game playing board. If you
wish to load a picture that will be displayed as the background under the
tiles this is the function to use. Several background pictures are
included with the game. You can also use your own pictures just as long as
they are in the popular PCX picture format. In general, the game can load
pictures even if they are in a different format (i.e., while running the
game in 256 color mode you should be able to load a 16 color picture).

Pictures designed for use as backgrounds will exactly fill the playing
surface. Pictures that are slightly smaller will be centered on the
playing surface. Pictures that are very small, less that one quarter the
available space, will be "tiled". That is, the picture will be displayed
multiple times to completely fill up the available space.

To remove the picture either load another one or use the Clear Background
function under the Options menu.

Some pictures will look better than others. The problem is the limitations
of a 256 color palette. For the game to work the menus and prompts must be
displayed in the proper colors. In addition, the color palette used by the
tile set must be maintained or the tiles won't display properly. The
result of all this is that a picture may not be able to use the colors
that it was originally saved with. When running in 16 color mode the
situation is even worse as a fixed set of 16 colors must be used.

The game tries to display the picture in colors as close to the original
as possible. Most of the time this works quite well. You will find that
some pictures look bad only with certain tile sets because their color
palettes just don't match well. Black and white pictures usually work
quite well as most tile sets have a lot of gray shades available and also
because the black and white picture offers good contrast to the colored
tiles.

Load Layout
-----------

Many layouts are available in addition to the default "dragon"
arrangement. These include any layouts that you make yourself with the
layout editor. When you use this function a list of all available board
layouts (files ending in .BRD) will be shown. Double click on the one you
want or change directories if you've stored your layout files somewhere
else. The game normally installs the layouts in the same directory with
all its other files.

Save Game
---------

Use this function to save a game in progress. You can use this on a game
that you wish to continue later. You can also save a game just before the
end if you wish to demonstrate to someone how that board number can be
won, since a saved game includes all your previous moves.

Saved games are files ending in .SAV. When you select the save function
the game will suggest a file name for you in the form MAH#####.SAV where
the ##### is the current board number. You can use the suggested name by
clicking on OK or you can enter your own name.

Load Game
---------

You use this function to reload a previously saved game. A file selection
box will show all available saved games and you double click on the one
you want or change directories if your saved games are stored elsewhere.

View Doc File
-------------

As a convenience, the game has a text file viewer built in. Most people
will have a better viewer utility available but if you don't or if you
just need to quickly reference something while remaining in the game this
function is handy.

A file selection box will appear showing all files available for viewing
(any file ending in .DOC). You can also change to other directories. When
you select the file you want the game will be cleared and the file will be
displayed. You can use the left and right mouse buttons to scroll up and
down a page at a time. You can also use the Page Up and Page Down keys for
the same purpose and the arrow keys to move a single line at a time. To
quit hit the Esc (escape) key. For a list of available functions hit the
F1 key.

Print Order Form
----------------

If you have not yet registered Dragons Bane: Mah Jongg II this function
will let you print an order form with all the details on registering. The
order form is also useful for ordering accessories such as additional tile
sets and for ordering other games.

Layout Editor
-------------

This function brings up the layout editor which allows you to make your
own board layouts or modify any of those supplied with the game. Please
see the Layout Editor section below for complete details.

OPTIONS MENU

There are quite a few options available and this menu lets you select many
of them. You can control sounds and animation, timing, board number
selection and view the current tile set.

Next Board Number
-----------------

You have three choices available in selecting what the next board number
will be. You can have board numbers selected either randomly or
sequentially. These settings remain from game to game until changed. The
third choice lets you play a specific board number. After you play that
one specific board the next board number will depend on whether you had
previously selected random or sequential boards.

For most people there is no advantage to either setting. Each board number
has the tiles placed randomly and the number has no effect other than
allowing the same arrangement to be replayed. If you don't care about
record keeping and statistics this setting really doesn't matter.

Toggle Peek
-----------

Many players like to find out why they get stuck and can't win a board.
The peek function lets you do this. When peek is disabled and you run out
of moves the game is over. With peek enabled, however, you can continue to
remove tiles one at a time to see what the hidden tiles are. Once you've
peeked you cannot undo or otherwise continue the game. If you are using
the clock it does not run while peeking, it stops as soon as there are no
more moves.

Remember that most boards can be won. Peeking will let you find out what
tiles are causing you problems so that you can replay the same board
number and concentrate on not getting stuck by the same tiles again.

Toggle Sound Effects
--------------------

The game has a variety of sound effects. If you have a SoundBlaster or
compatible sound card and sufficient memory you will hear digitized sound
effects otherwise the PC speaker is used. If you wish to play the game in
quiet you can turn the sound effects off.

Toggle Animation
----------------

A variety of animated effects are used when pairs of tiles are removed.
The disadvantage of this is that it slows the game down a bit. If you find
you don't like the animations you can use this option to disable them.
When animation is disabled selected pairs of tiles will simply disappear.

Simple or Verbose Prompts
-------------------------

In order to help beginners the game has detailed prompts available,
especially when you do something wrong or to help you through a series of
choices. Once you've played the game for a while you probably won't need
these verbose prompts and you can turn them off. With verbose prompts
disabled you'll simply get a beep when you make a mistake.

Toggle Time
-----------

The game always keeps track of how long you play each board. If you really
don't care about your time you can turn off the clock and it will no
longer be displayed on the screen. If you have statistics keeping enabled,
however, your times are still recorded whether or not the clock is
displayed.

Set Time Limit
--------------

In addition to simply keeping track of time you can use the clock to set a
limit for each game. Any time between 1 and 48 minutes can be used, though
typical games take no more than ten minutes.

When a time limit has been selected the clock will count down rather than
up. When the clock reaches zero your game is over and you will not be
allowed to make further moves.

Clear Background
----------------

A variety of backgrounds can be used behind the tiles on the playing
surface. This option lets you clear the background to a single plain color
or to any of a variety of patterns.

When you select Clear Background two squares will be displayed with your
choices. The left square contains a number of patterns. If you choose one
of these patterns it will be used repeatedly to fill the entire screen.
The right square contains 16 or 256 solid colors that can be used to fill
the background. The available colors will not always be the same as they
are determined by the current color palette in use which is primarily
determined by the current tile set.

If you wish to have a picture as a background use the Load Picture
function in the File menu.

View Tile Set
-------------

To see the entire current tile set use this function. This is especially
useful to determine how the wild card suits are used. See the section on
Suits Of Tiles for a discussion on tile suits.

HINTS MENU

This menu has a number of features designed to help you play the game.
These range from helping you find moves to seeing or changing your
previous moves.

Get Hint
--------

This is actually two functions in one. Normally it will show you all
currently available moves one at a time. The moves are shown by
highlighting the pair of tiles. You can choose to continue looking, stop
looking or remove that pair of tiles.

If you use this function after already selecting a tile it will try to

find any matching tile that is free. If a match is found you'll be asked
it you want to remove it.

Find Hidden Match
-----------------

If you select a tile and want to find its matches, whether free or not,
this function will find them. A little wizard will appear and will point
to the matching tiles with his wand. He will point to each matching tile
for as long as you wish. This function will not tell you the exact layer
that tiles are on but you will at least know what pile of tiles you need
to remove.

Undo Last Move
--------------

Sometimes you'll find that you've made a move that you really wish you
hadn't made. This function lets you undo previous moves. The game keeps
track of all your moves so you can undo as many times as you wish, right
back to the start of the game.

Redo Last Move
--------------

This is the reverse of the undo function. If you undo a move (putting a
pair of tiles back on the board) this function will remove the tiles
again. You can undo and redo back and forth as many moves as you wish.

See Previous Moves
------------------

This function shows all the tiles you've already removed, in the order
that you removed them. This can be useful in planning whether or not to
undo back to a tile that you find you need.

STATISTICS MENU

For those who like statistics Dragons Bane: Mah Jongg II is capable of
keeping records of game play. This information is kept in a file ending
with either .ST1 or .ST2. Records are kept of your best game or fastest
win, worst game, average, total playing time and more. Records are also
kept of each individual board played. See the section titled Statistics
for complete details on the various type of statistics available.

The functions available under the Stats menu are as follows:

View Stats
----------

This is the feature you'll likely use the most. It displays your overall
records for the board layout you are currently using. The information
shown does not include the current game, even if there are no more moves,
but will get updated as soon as you start a new game.

When you use this function you'll be shown the following:

Total Games Played
Total Different Board Numbers Played
Total Games Won (or Best Score if no wins)
Average Score
Time and Board Number of Fastest Win
Percentage of Games Won
Percentage of Different Boards Won
Worst Game Played To Completion
Total Playing Time

Load Stats File
---------------

If you wish to change statistics files use this function. A file selection
box will appear showing all available statistics files (files ending in
.ST1 or ST2). Double click on the file you want.

Normally this will only be needed if several people play the game on the
same computer. If you currently have statistics disabled you must first
select statistics level before using the function.

Select Stats Level
------------------

You will generally use this function only once to determine what level of
statistics you want to use. You can also use this function to turn

statistics keeping off. See the section titled Statistics for details on
the different stats levels.

If you enable statistics you will then be prompted for what statistics
file you wish to use. Select a file from the list displayed or type in the
name of the new file you wish created.

TOURNEY MENU

You can play tournaments with any number of players. In a tournament each
player tries the same single game under the exact same conditions (layout,
time limit, etc.). Each person's score is recorded and results can be
viewed at any time.

The Tourney menu gives you four functions that allow you to control and
enter tournaments:

Set Up Tournament
-----------------

This is the first step. When you choose this function a tournament set up
screen appears which allows you to choose the conditions of the
tournament. You can control:

Board Number
Layout
Time Limit
If Undo Is Allowed

The screen will start with default values which are:

Board Number: randomly selected
Layout: MAHJONGG.BRD
Time Limit: none
If Undo Is Allowed: not allowed

Click on the buttons or item name you want to change until the choices are
the way you want them. When satisfied, click on the SAVE button, choose a
file name for your tournament and your tournament is ready to play. You
can click on ABORT if you decide not to save your tournament.

Play In Tournament
------------------

Once a tournament has been set up any number of people can play in it.
When you select Play In Tournament a file selector will come up in which
you choose the tournament you wish to play in. You'll then be prompted for
your name. Your tournament entry will then be displayed. If you wish to
continue and play the tournament game click on the OK button, otherwise
click on ABORT. You'll then play the tournament game. Note that during
tournament games most of the hint functions are disabled and you also
cannot save the game. Normal statistics keeping is also disabled.

View Standings
--------------

You can view the results for any tournament using this function. You must
first choose the tournament file you are interested in. Then the results
will be displayed with the tournament conditions at the top of the screen
and the players' scores at the bottom. Up to ten players at a time can be
shown. If there are more then ten entrants you can scroll between them by
using the MORE and BACK buttons. Click on DONE to return to the game.

Note that you can use this function while playing a tournament game, but
your results will not be included until you end the game in progress.

Delete Old Tournament
---------------------

Choosing this function lets you delete tournaments that are completed. The
file selector will appear and you can choose the tournament you wish to
delete. You can also delete tournaments from the normal DOS prompt simply
by deleting the file. All tournament files end with the suffix .TRN so
they are easy to identify.


*****************************************************************************
* COMMAND LINE OPTIONS *
*****************************************************************************

The game options you want are usually chosen using the menus and are
reloaded each time you play from the "dragon.cfg" configuration file.
Most people will never need to use command line options. If you are not
familiar with them you should avoid them and use the game's setup menus.

However, if you have several people using the game each of whom have
different preferences it may be convenient to set up batch files for each
player. The following command line options will let you do this:

-a animated tile removal effects off
-s sound off
-sb disable SoundBlaster sounds only (PC speaker sounds are on)
-c## select background pattern; ## is X and Y coordinates of
desired pattern in pattern selection grid shown when you
use the Clear Background function
-c### select background color ### (range: 000 to 255)
-bs sequential board numbers
-br random board numbers
-b# play a specific board number
-t# set time limit
-p peek allowed
-v verbose prompts off
-16 run in 16 color VGA mode

You can also select the tile set, background picture, board layout and
statistics file from the command line. To do this, just include the
complete name of the file anywhere on the command line.

If you wish, you can have the game randomly select a tile set, background
picture or board layout. To do this use a name with the asterisk (wild
card character) in it. For example, to choose any available tile set you
would select "*.TL". To choose any picture that starts with the letter B
you would select "B*.PCX".

Here are some examples:

To play board 12345 with sound off, use this command line:

mahjongg -b12345 -s

Note that the dashes are required and there must be a space between each
option. The order of the options does not matter.

To use the medieval tile set (MEDIEVAL.TL) and allow peeking at the end
of the game, use this command line:

mahjongg medieval.tl -p

To use the background pattern from row 0 column 1, randomly selected
tiles, the antigrav board layout with a 10 minute time limit:

mahjongg -c01 *.tl antigrav.brd -t10

To use color number 1 (dark blue) as your background and use any tile
set that starts with the letter "A":

mahjongg -c001 a*.tl


*****************************************************************************
* LAYOUT EDITOR *
*****************************************************************************

If you get tired of the default "dragon" layout and the other board
layouts included with the game you can make your own. Making a layout that
plays well is quite a challenge but the only limitation is your
imagination. You can make layouts simpler than the originals and with less
tiles or make designs so complex they make your head spin.

Layouts can have up to 144 tiles and the number of tiles must always be a
multiple of four. Up to five layers of tiles can be used with only one
exception: the far right column can only be one layer high as higher
layers would go off the playing board due to the 3D display effect.

The layout grid is 29 columns wide and 15 rows high. However, each
position overlaps so you can actually use only every other position. You
can make rows of tiles align or you can place tiles a half position off
from adjacent tiles so a single tile can block two other rows.

The editor only has two basic functions: place a tile and remove a tile.
The working cursor is shaped like a small tile. To add a tile move the
cursor to the desired position and click the left mouse button. A randomly
selected tile from the current tile set will be placed. To remove a tile
line it up with the mouse cursor and click the right mouse button. Using
the keyboard the space bar or enter key adds a tile and the backspace key
removes a tile.

The layout editor has its own menu bar, different from what you see when
playing the game. The help menu gives you some basic information about
using the editor. The only functional menu is the File menu. It has three
functions:

New Layout
----------

This function gives you a completely empty screen so you can start a
layout from scratch.

Load Layout
-----------

This function lets you load existing layouts from disk. A file selection
box appears. Double click on the name of the file you wish to load.

Save Layout
-----------

When you are done editing use this function to save your layout to a disk
file. A file selection box will appear and you can double click on a file
name to save over an existing layout or type in the name of a new layout.
Note that all layout files end with .BRD. You will not be able to save
unless you have a valid layout which means it must have a number of tiles
that is divisible by four.


*****************************************************************************
* STATISTICS *
*****************************************************************************

While some people play the game strictly for relaxation others prefer a
more intense approach and like to have details kept of their results. To
meet this need Dragons Bane: Mah Jongg II offers some detailed statistics
keeping.

In order to keep track each board is numbered. You can find the current
board number displayed along with other information along the bottom of
the screen below the playing area. Records are kept according to this
number for each board that you play.

You have a choice of two levels of statistics. The basic statistics
(stored in .ST1 files) keep less information but also take less disk space
to store the records. When using basic statistics records are kept of
65536 board numbers. For each board number a record is kept whether that
board was never played, played or won.

Detailed statistics (stored in .ST2 files) keep records for 10000 board
numbers. For each board number you play a record is kept of your best
score. For each board number you win your best winning time is kept.

Please note that statistics are kept separately for each different layout,
though all statistics can be kept in a single file. The reason for this is
that the difficulty of different layouts varies quite a bit so mixed
results from different layouts would not be meaningful.

Your statistics file can grow quite large if you play many different
layouts. Basic statistics take up 16474 bytes of disk space for each board
layout you use. Detailed statistics take up 30090 bytes of disk space for
each layout.

USING STATEDIT

Registered owners of Dragons Bane: Mah Jongg II receive an editor that
allows complete control over statistics files. With StatEdit you can
change any record in the file, remove portions of the file and print out
your results.

To use the editor run STATEDIT.EXE. You can then load any statistics file
and change any entry in the file. You can also have a formatted report of
your statistics either printed or sent to a file.

Be careful! Though you can change any entry in the statistics actually
doing so is not necessarily a good idea. Most fields are interrelated so
changing one field effects the validity of others.

Going menu by menu, here's what the editor can do:

HELP MENU

Selecting help brings up a series of screens that offer a brief
introduction to the editor. The instructions are minimal but should be
enough to get started.

INFO MENU

This selection gives some basic information about the editor.

FILE MENU

Load File
---------

Use this function to load any statistics file. A complete list of all .ST1
and .ST2 files will be shown for you to pick from. You can change to other
disk directories if necessary.

After selecting the file you will have to select which record within the
file you wish to edit. Remember that separate records are kept for each
board layout. A list of the board layouts recorded in the file is
displayed; point and click on the one you want.

Save File
---------

After making any changes use this function to save the updated file. The
file will always be saved under the same name used when it was first
loaded.

Delete File
-----------

If you wish to completely remove a statistics file you can use this
function. You can do the same thing from the DOS command line by deleting
the file.

Print Current File
------------------

Using this function lets you print your complete records in an easy to
read form. The overall records will be shown first, followed by a list of
all boards won and concluding with a list of all additional boards played.
If a detailed statistics file is in use the listing will include the best
scores and best times for each board number.

Using this function you can also "print" to a disk file. The information
recorded is exactly the same as you would see on your printer. You can
then use the resulting straight text file any way you want, perhaps with
your favorite word processor to further edit it before printing.

OPTIONS MENU

Display Header
--------------

Statistics files have two parts, a header with overall information like
all time bests, and individual records for each board number. When you
want to see the header for the currently loaded statistics use this
function. You can switch back and forth whenever you want.

When the header is displayed you can change any entry simply by pointing
to it with the cursor and clicking. You'll then be prompted to enter the
new information.

Display Records
---------------

To switch from displaying the header to displaying records for individual
board numbers use this function.

When individual records are being displayed you can change the results for
any board number simply by pointing to the number and clicking. You'll
then be prompted to enter the new results for that board number.

Since so many board numbers are recorded each screen can only show a
portion. You can scroll from screen to screen by clicking on the two
buttons at the lower corners of the screen labeled MORE and BACK.

Jump To Record
--------------

This function also causes individual board number records to be displayed
but it lets you pick a specific board number. This can be much faster than
scrolling from board to board using the MORE and BACK buttons. You can use
this function whether board records or the header is currently being shown.

Delete This Layout
------------------

If you have a statistics file with several board layouts recorded in it
you can use this function to delete the records for one specific layout.
First load the file and the layout then use this function to delete it.


*****************************************************************************
* KEYBOARD SHORTCUTS *
*****************************************************************************

Game play is easier using a mouse, however all features are available
using the keyboard. To select tiles using the keyboard use the arrow keys
to position the cursor then use the space bar or Enter key to select
tiles. If you hold down the shift key at the same time you use an arrow
the cursor will move farther.

All the menus and the more commonly used functions can be accessed
directly using a single keystroke. These keyboard shortcuts are as follows:

F1: Help
F2: Info
F3: File Menu
F4: Options Menu
F5: Hints Menu
F6: Stats Menu
F7: Tournament Menu
F10: Quit

Alt-A: Again (Replay)
Alt-E: Help
Alt-F: File Menu
Alt-H: Hints Menu
Alt-I: Info
Alt-M: Display Previous Moves
Alt-N: New Game
Alt-O: Options Menu
Alt-Q: Quit
Alt-S: Stats Menu
Alt-T: Tournament Menu
Alt-U: Undo Move
Alt-V: View Tile Set
Alt-Z: Redo Move

Ctrl-F: Find Hidden Match
Ctrl-H: Get Hint
Ctrl-L: Load Layout
Ctrl-P: Load Picture
Ctrl-R: Reload Game
Ctrl-S: Save Game
Ctrl-T: Load Tiles
Ctrl-V: View Stats


*****************************************************************************
* INCLUDED FILES *
*****************************************************************************

The following files are included in Dragons Bane: Mah Jongg II:

DRAGON.EXE Dragons Bane: Mah Jongg II program
DRAGON.DOC This file
DRAGON.TXT A brief description of Dragons Bane: Mah Jongg II
DRAGON.HLP Text for game online help function
LAYOUT.HLP Text for layout editor online help function
DRAGON.GXL Sound/graphics library
FACTORY.EXE Tile Factory tile editing utility
FACTORY.DOC Tile editor instructions
FACTORY.HLP Text for Tile Factory online help function
FACTORY.GXL Tile factory library files
*.BRD Various board layouts
*.TL Various 256 color tile sets
*.TLV Various 16 color tile sets
*.PCX Pictures for use as playing board backgrounds
SHAREWRE.TXT Information on Shareware
ORDERFRM.TXT Ready to print registration form
UKORDER.TXT Registration form for UK residents
VENDOR.TXT Distribution information for disk vendors, BBSes, etc.
FILE_ID.DIZ Standard program description for BBS use


*****************************************************************************
* REGISTRATION *
*****************************************************************************

Please remember that Dragons Bane: Mah Jongg II is not free software. As
with all Shareware you are expected to purchase it after you've given it a
reasonable trial.

The registration price for Dragons Bane: Mah Jongg II is $16 (#12.95
U.K.), for which you'll receive by return mail:

- a copy of the latest version with the shareware reminders removed
- additional tile sets
- additional background pictures
- more different board layouts
- the statistics editor
- and possibly another Shareware game to try out (disk space allowing)

Collections of tile sets created by various players are also available for
$6 each. Each collection includes ten or more tile sets.

You can also get custom backgrounds made from your photographs. These are
available for $6 each.

A "deluxe" version of Dragons Bane: Mah Jongg II is also available. This
includes a storage case, printed manual, quick reference card, plus the
registered version of the game. This version is available for $24. Note
that the actual software is the same in both versions.

Please include $2 for shipping/handling along with the payment for
whatever item(s) you order; if ordering deluxe versions please include $4.
Outside North America please include $4 for shipping/handling on all
orders. Please note that all prices are U.S. dollars.

If you live in the U.K. you can register through Nildram Software. Please
print the file UKORDER.TXT for an order form all ready to go or just send
#12.95 to:

Nildram Software
82 Akeman Street
Tring
Herts HP23 6AF

You can also get the registered version RIGHT NOW by calling Software
Creations BBS. Use their online store and your credit card and immediately
download the registered version. You can reach Software Creations by
calling 508-368-7036 (up to 14.4 kbps modems) or 508-368-6604 (up to 28.8
kbps modems). Once you've logged on and reached the main menu just use the
command STORE and follow the instructions.


*****************************************************************************
* DISCLAIMER OF WARRANTY *
*****************************************************************************

This software is sold "as is", without any warranty as to performance or
any other warranties whether expressed or implied. Because of the many
hardware and software environments into which this program may be used, no
warranty of fitness for a particular purpose is offered. The user must
assume the entire risk of using the program. Any liability of the seller
will be limited exclusively to product replacement or the refund of the
registration fee.


*****************************************************************************
* ASSOCIATION OF SHAREWARE PROFESSIONALS *
*****************************************************************************

This software is produced by Nels Anderson who is a member of the
Association of Shareware Professionals (ASP). ASP wants to make sure that
the shareware principle works for you. If you are unable to resolve a
shareware-related problem with an ASP member by contacting the member
directly, ASP may be able to help.

The ASP Ombudsman can help you resolve a dispute or problem with an ASP
member, but does not provide technical support for members' products.
Please write to the ASP Ombudsman at 545 Grover Road, Muskegon, MI 49442,
USA or send a CompuServe message via email to ASP Ombudsman 70007,3536.
FAX: 616-788-2765.

_______
____|__ | (R)
--| | |-------------------
| ____|__ | Association of
| | |_| Shareware
|__| o | Professionals
-----| | |---------------------
|___|___| MEMBER


*****************************************************************************
* AVAILABLE SOFTWARE *
*****************************************************************************

Other software which I've either written or contributed to:

GUESS: Second Guess is another solitaire game that uses the same
tile sets as Dragons Bane: Mah Jongg II. Though based on
concentration solitaire it offers many more features
including play by up to four people. Requires SVGA graphics
and supports SoundBlaster.

MAHJONGG: Solitaire game played with Chinese tiles. Supports VGA,
EGA and Hercules graphics; mouse optional. See reviews
in December 1988 "PCWorld" and April 1989 "Compute!".
Uses the same tile sets as Tile Match.

TMATCH: Tile Match is another solitaire game that uses the same
colorful tile sets originally created for Mah Jongg.
It's based on concentration solitaire or "memory" but
adds a wide variety of features. Play it solitaire,
against the computer or with up to four players.

CIPHER: A word puzzle game involving solving quotations that
have been encrypted. Runs in EGA or VGA graphics mode
with or without a mouse, or in text mode.

CIPHWN: Cipher for Windows. All the features of regular
CIPHER but runs under the Microsoft Windows 3.x
environment.

EGATREK: Space strategy battle game, using colorful EGA graphics,
based on the classic minicomputer game. Winner of
Public Brand Software's 1988 software contest.

SHOOT: "Shooting Gallery" tests your aim and reflexes in a
number of different rounds of shooting. Uses MCGA
graphics mode for 256 colors and and also requires
a mouse. See review in "PC Magazine" vol. 9 #20.

SUPERFLY: An action game using hi-res EGA/VGA graphics. Chase the
flies and other insects through twenty different rounds.
Includes three levels of difficulty, hall of fame, shell
to DOS, etc. Keyboard/joystick/mouse supported. See
review in "PC Magazine" vol. 10 #17.

BASSTOUR: (Written by Dick Olsen). Game that simulates a fishing
tournament, including rod and lure selection. Runs in
EGA/CGA/MCGA/Hercules graphics modes. Do not order this
game from me; for more information contact: Richard
Olsen, 68 Hartwell Avenue, Littleton, MA 01460.

BASSMAP: Companion program for BassTour which allows lakes to be
created or modified. EGA and CGA versions included.
Requires BassTour or Bass Class.

- - - - -

Dragons Bane: Mah Jongg II is copyright (c) 1995 by Nels Anderson.
All rights reserved.


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