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Shanghai: Second Dynasty

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Title Screen

Shanghai: Second Dynasty

Developer: Quicksilver Software
Publisher: Activision
Platforms: Windows, Mac OS Classic
Released in US: 1999

DevTextIcon.png This game has hidden development-related text.
TextIcon.png This game has unused text.
Carts.png This game has revisional differences.

Shanghai: Dynasty gets kicked up a notch. Bam!


Developer Assistance

The game's text is stored in commented TXT files for ease of cross-platform localization, as uq3.txt begins by explaining.

Strings for the HI/Q3 engine.
(Remember, unless the line begins with a pipe, it is ignored by
the strings parser.  Therefore, the strings and their usage are
commented herein to act as a guide to localization personnel)

Apparently the "HI/Q3 engine" evolved between various projects, and the help didn't always keep up. One of the longest comments describes how to write a quit confirmation prompt, and all of it is wrong: tConfirmExit stands on its own, and tApplicationTitle is actually called tGameTitle.

These strings are used by tEvtMgr::mStopProgram in the prompt box
The actual usage is akin to sprintf(actualtext,"%s %s?",tConfirmExit,tApplicationTitle)
so if the title of the app is "Test App", the actual text displayed is:
	"Are you sure you want to exit Test App?"
tConfirmExit Are you sure you want to exit Shanghai: Second Dynasty?
tConfirmExitTitle Confirm Exit

Developer Remarks

This message precedes one block of context-sensitive help strings in ucontext.txt.


Another warning accompanies the list of every tile in the game.

(This is a really LARGE number of strings which Activision will have to supply)

Unused Text

This next set makes up a deprecated version of a Mac display options dialog. Separate sets for handling resolution switching and multiple displays are located after the "not implement[e]d" block.

(can't find where this is used.  Not implementd.)
tQ3Error_MAC_Colors_256 This display is not currently set to 256 Colors.
tQ3Error_MAC_Colors_Thousands This display is not currently set to Thousands of Colors.
tQ3Error_MAC_Colors_Txt1 Quit
tQ3Error_MAC_Colors_Txt2 Choose Another Display
tQ3Error_MAC_Colors_Txt3 Change It

Demo Text

A sales message from the demo can be read in ustrings.txt.

tDynastyTitle Shanghai: Second Dynasty
tDemo1 Thank you for playing the Shanghai: Second Dynasty Demo! This version contains only a portion of the tile sets, artwork, animations, and multimedia rewards available in the full version of the game.
tDemo2 Menu items that have been grayed-out in this Demo version are available to explore, delight, and surprise in the full version.
tDemo3 This Demo does not automatically shuffle tiles when a game ends, nor does it include this option in the File or Help menu, as does the full version. The full version contains an endless series of tile arrangements to challenge you anew each time.

Version 1.1 contains even more demo text, starting with an expanded version of the blurb. (Yes, tDemo5 and tDemo4 are reversed like that.)

tDynastyTitle Shanghai: Second Dynasty DEMO
tDemo1 Thank you for playing the Shanghai: Second Dynasty Demo! This demo contains only a portion of the game modes, tile sets, animations, sounds, and voices available in the full version of the game. This Demo does not let you shuffle the tiles or use other optional functions available in the full version.
tDemo2 Shanghai: Second Dynasty includes FOUR ways to play mah-jongg: American, Chinese, Japanese, and Western. This Demo includes only American mode. Use the Help menu's "View Current Card" feature to see the few hands supported by this Demo. Click the AMJA button to go to the AMJA website and join!
tDemo3 Shanghai: Second Dynasty is the greatest collection of tile games ever! Includes SIX Shanghai tile-matching games, 54 tile sets, 143 layouts, and 10 music tracks. Click the Shanghai button at right to learn more about the titles in Activision's Shanghai dynasty of games.
tDemo5 Click the Activision Store button at right to buy Shanghai: Second Dynasty (Win/Mac), Shanghai: Dynasty (Win/Mac), Shanghai: Mah-Jongg Essentials (Win/Mac), or Shanghai Double Pack (Windows 95/98 only).
tDemo4 Shanghai is available worldwide; look for it in a software store near you. If it's not in stock, ask to have the game ordered for you (specify which title!). Mac users, note: the same disk works in both Mac and Windows computers.
tDemoManualPage http://www.activision.com/games/shanghai/games/dynasty/demomanual/manual.htm
tShanghaiWebPage http://www.activision.com/games/shanghai/
tAMJAWebPage http://www.amja.net/
tEStoreWebPage http://store.activision.com
tWebTroubleWebPage http://www.activision.com/support
tDemoAmerMJDefaultCard1 Demo2000
tWarning Warning!
tNotConnected You might not be connected to the internet. If not, please connect now.
tMenu_MJNewCard Open Card...

Menu Bar

The Mac version doesn't store its menus as resources, but a set of stub resources does exist:


Shanghai Second Dynasty (Mac OS Classic) - Apple.png


Shanghai Second Dynasty (Mac OS Classic) - File.png


Shanghai Second Dynasty (Mac OS Classic) - Nothing.png


The one-item File menu is similar to that on the game's title screen, but even there it says "Quit Game" rather than "Quit".

Platform Differences

The Dynasty games did not support online multiplayer under Mac OS. According to the game's producer, Tom Sloper, "Activision never approved the budget or time to support Mac online play."

Revision Differences

The Mac 1.1 patch includes the following list of fixes and improvements. (Not mentioned: it changes the version string from 1.0 to 1.0.1 [sic] and increases the minimum/preferred RAM allocations by 101 KB each.) The Windows 1.1 patch is likely similar, but documentation has not been found for it.


American Mah-Jongg Fixes

  • Fixed errors in the 2000 AMJA card file. There were some hands that were defined incorrectly or scored incorrectly. The program now adheres exactly to the printed card that came with the game.
  • Made it easier to Save in the Card Editor.
  • Fixed a problem in the Card Editor in which the program redefined suits under certain conditions.
  • Fixed a problem with Saving and filetyping. Program no longer requires filetyping for the custom card file.

Chinese Mah-Jongg Fixes

  • Buried Treasure now properly recognized and awarded.
  • Fixed text about Concealed kongs.
  • Fixed problems in "payment to all" in which scoring combinations were not getting highest possible score.
  • Roof Off now scored properly.
  • Fixed inconsistency with regards to scoring pairs of dragons in non-winning hands when "payment to all" is active.
  • Fixed how game scores undeclared concealed Kong (in hand) when "payment to all" is active.
  • Fixed Wall of Fame so high scores bump lower scores down properly.

Western Mah-Jongg Fixes

  • Program now properly recognizes chow hands with jokers.
  • Fixed problem with redeemed jokers.
  • Chow Mein hand now prioritized over Windy Chows if hand qualifies for both.
  • Jokers no longer allowed to be used in a pair.
  • Pung of Own Wind now properly recognized.

Japanese Mah-Jongg Fixes

  • Fixed typo in text when players all discard same wind.
  • Fixed problem in which program thought there was a "furiten" when there was not.
  • Yakitori now saved properly in saved games.

Shanghai Fix

  • Fixed edges and shadows of "Outer Space" tile set in high-resolution mode.

General Fixes

  • Game detects and warns if high-resolution game is installed and monitor is at low resolution setting.
  • Viewing Current Hand (American mah-jongg) after Layout Editor (Shanghai game) now does not crash.
  • Fixed problem with prevailing wind marker in Japanese Mah-Jongg tile set.


Mah-Jongg Improvements

  • There is now an option to change the active mah-jongg card in the File menu of the American game (no longer have to change that option only on the Game Setup dialog box).
  • Changed the highlight color to red; this makes it easier to tell which tile is the active discard when using the American and Chinese tile sets.
  • When viewing breakdown of score in "payment to all" (Chinese/Western) it is now easier to tell whose tiles are being viewed.
  • Heavenly Hand (Chinese/Western/Japanese) now properly prioritized over other hands.

General Improvements

  • You can now load a previously saved game, without first having to start a new game from the title screen. Added option to File menu on title screen.
  • Removed the Mac filetyping requirement for custom layouts, tile sets, and cards.