[ Return to the Mah-Gong page ]
Computer Workshops (Commodore 64 Software)

As of 1 September 2009, Mah-Gong is now freeware.
You may register it using special serial number 000037.

Mah-Gong Special Edition Instruction Manual

©1993, 1998, 2001 Cameron Kaiser. Developed in association with Antediluvian Software. Distributed by Computer Workshops, Inc. All rights reserved.


For aeons, the Dragon's challenge has confounded those who try to master it. Deceptively simple -- simply match tiles and try to clear the board -- but devilishly tricky and fiendishly addictive. Can you meet the Challenge?

A Note On Shareware and Piracy

This game is shareware. When registered, you can play as many games as you like at a sitting without the game rebooting. If you like the game constantly restarting on you, you don't have to pay us :-) but if you become addicted, we'll gladly send you a registration key for our meager asking price. Thanks for supporting C64 shareware!

When you do register, please, don't copy the registered version for people who haven't paid for it. We worked hard for several months to bring you this game. We don't make a lot off it, but what we do receive for it helps keep us in business and making new software for you. Piracy puts small companies that still support the 64 out of business, and that means the 64 will die when they do. Please, don't pirate!

System Requirements

Mah-Gong requires a joystick. SuperCPU and 128 owners: Mah-Gong will attempt to take advantage of your machine's faster CPU speed. While it generates puzzles, it will enable acceleration, and disable it at all other times. Emulator users: If you wish to use MGSE on an emulator, we have tested it on Frodo, Power64 and C64S. Power64 and C64S require that full 1541 emulation be turned on; Frodo does not. We expect it will work with VICE, PC64 and CCS64, but have not tested it.

Mah-Gong has only been tested with the Epyx FastLoad. While it does not use any fastloader or copy-protection routines, if you experience difficulty loading the game, we recommend disabling your fastload system if installed.


Mah-Gong Special Edition v1.0a has a HyperLink-powered launcher. If you are a HyperLink 2.5a user, simply insert the Mah-Gong disk and press F5! This manual is right on the disk.

Otherwise, you can use HyperLink-To-Go to run the launcher. Plug a joystick into port #2. 128 users should be in 64 mode.

At the READY. prompt, do


where D is your disk drive's device number.

Once at the main screen, you can elect to enter your registation number, read the manual and documentation, or start the game. When you start the game or the registration utility, you will exit HyperLink. Use your input device to select one of the links:


When you start the game, the title screen and main music will begin. Press any key to continue. The game will continue loading, and then the menu screen will appear.

Game Play

The main menu shows two arrows, one selecting timed or classic mode, and one selecting the number of tiles in play (48, 72 or 96). In timed mode, you are scored and must respond within five seconds. In classic mode, there is no score or timelimit and play is identical to the classic Mah-Gong. If this is your first time playing, we recommend playing classic mode first. The main menu looks like this:


To change which arrow is active, pull left or right, and move the stick up and down to select options. When you are ready to play, press fire. The computer will enable acceleration (if supported; 128s will blank briefly), generate a puzzle, and load the main game.

The game screen looks like this:


There are eight rows of tiles on each half of the game board. The board is split down the middle by a row of white markers.

Here are the basic game play rules:

  • All tiles must be matched from the ends of rows.

  • Gong tiles are special. There are two Gongs: the Big Gong, which is a tile with a large circle in the center (3rd from the right, top row); and the Little Gong (4th from the right, top row) with a small circle in the center.

    Big Gongs must be matched on opposite sides of the game board.

    Small Gongs must be matched on the same side.

A blinking cursor shows your current position. The cursor is smart and will stay on the ends of rows and automatically skip empty rows. Move the stick left or right to switch sides of the game board, and up and down to move from row to row. The cursor wraps at the top and bottom.

In classic mode, you have no score or timelimit. Simply take as long as necessary to make a move. You will not be penalized for illegal moves, so to cancel a move you're about to make, simply make an illegal move (click the same tile twice, for example), and the game will ignore it. The FUND and TIME fields do not appear.

In timed mode, you start with a "FUND" of 250 points. This fund is credited when you make an acceptable move, and debited when you exceed the timelimit or misalign a pair of Gongs. You have five seconds to make a move, or your FUND will be penalized 200 points or half your fund, whichever is more. If you match two Gongs improperly (match two Big Gongs on the same half of the board, for example), your FUND will be penalized 250 points or half your fund, whichever is more.

All other illegal moves just waste time. Correct moves are rewarded by replenishing your FUND (more points are awarded for moving quickly). When your FUND is depleted, the game is over.

All puzzles have at least one solution, but very likely you might find yourself in a corner. If so, press F1 to bail out.

If you complete the game by clearing all tiles, in classic mode you will hear the three chimes calling you to the Dragon's challenge of timed mode. If you complete the game in timed mode, the spirit of the Dragon himself will appear in a flash of light and sound. Consider yourself honored, O Wise One!

Other Useful Keys

Press F7 during the game to toggle music or sound effects.

Rumor has it that the programmers didn't disable all the cheat keys ...


The most common snag is getting all the tiles of one type in a single row. Since you can only match at the end of rows, that means you will never be able to clear those tiles.

Hence, the best strategy is to try to clear the board evenly, keeping all rows about the same length. This ensures that the chances of your having all the tiles you need to match where you can't get them is diminished.

Since Gongs have the most restrictions on how they can be matched, getting rid of them first should help you considerably.

Unlike the original Mah-Gong, all puzzles are fully solvable. So if you can't solve the puzzle this time, it's your mistake. :-)

Bug Reports

Please send all bug notices to Tech Support at spectre@deepthought.armory.com.

This version 1.0a includes the HyperLink launcher, allows booting from any device number, and fixes various sundry gameplay bugs.

License and Warranty

As the User of this program (henceforth "You"), your use of this program constitutes full acceptance of this limited license. If you do not accept these terms, you must return this program and all copies to CWI for a refund, and must not use this product.

You are granted usage of this program on as many computers as you like provided there is only one copy in use. You may make an additional copy for an archival backup only. You may not install this program on multiple computers at once, and you may not copy this program for users who have not purchased this program. You may sell this program to another user provided that you destroy your archival backups and do not use this program further. Violation constitutes piracy and is punishable under U.S. and international statutes. You may also be vulnerable to civil penalties. All legal issues to be handled in accordance with the State of California, United States of America.

This product is sold strictly "AS IS". No warranties, express or implied, are given, and any damage that may occur to the program during use, including but not limited to extraordinary circumstances, wear and tear or acts of alien species, is strictly the liability of the user. In cases where the media is defective, please return the disk to Computer Workshops within 30 days of purchase for a replacement. Valid only for disks purchased directly from Computer Workshops. Disks not subject to warranty will not be returned. This offer is void after 30 days after purchase. Send to Computer Workshops, ATTN: Media Replacement, 3612 Birdie Drive, La Mesa, CA 91941, USA.