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Catalogue of Arcade Emulation Software - the Absolute Reference

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Ms. Pac-Man


Ms. Pac-Man (c) 1981 Midway.


In this, the first proper sequel to Namco's legendary pill eating maze game, players must once again run around a number of mazes, eating all of the pills that are scattered throughout. The ever-present ghosts (Blinky, Pinky, Inky and Sue) return to hamper the player's progress. The infamous 'Powerpills' are also present and correct, with four appearing in each maze.


Namco introduced a number of changes and enhancements over the original game. The first difference is in the main character. For the first time in video-game history, the game's lead character was female. Ms Pac-Man is almost identical to the original character with two main differences; she wears a bow in her 'hair', and is also wearing lipstick.


Another change from the original is that the bonus fruit items are no longer static but now move randomly around the mazes. Finally, Ms Pac-Man features four different maze layouts, which alternate every two to four screens. The ghosts' movement patterns are also completely different to those of the original game.


- TECHNICAL -


Ms. Pac-Man was available in 3 distinct cabinets (not including bootleg versions) :

* The upright version came in the standard Namco/Midway cabinet. This is the same 'swoopy' cabinet that "Galaxian", "Galaga", and "Pac-Man" came in as well. These featured painted side-art of Ms. Pac-Man and the ghosts, along with some pink accent lines. The last 10,000 or so Ms. Pac-Man machines to roll off the assembly line had sticker side-art instead, it was the same basic scene, but the colors were brighter, and there were a few minor differences in the layout of the graphics. The marquee showed an image of Ms. Pac-Man lounging on her own logo, with a ghost off to the side. The exact colors used on the marquee varied a bit over the production run (as did the paint codes used on the side). The control panel and monitor bezel had a single design that covered both of them, that of a blue background with a pink or maroon stripe going around it, with a few game instructions printed upon them.

* The mini version came in a smaller woodgrain cabinet, without any side-art. All of its graphics were scaled down versions of the ones used on the upright, except for a graphic of Ms. Pac-Man chasing three ghosts that appeared on the lower part of the control panel.

* The cocktail version came in the standard Namco/Midway woodgrain cocktail table. It was minimally adorned with a logo underneath the top glass, and instructions on the control panels.


All versions used the same internal hardware which consisted of a "Pac-Man" linear power supply, Electrohome open frame monitor, and a "Pac-Man" main-board with the Ms. Pac-Man daughter-card installed. All versions also used the same 4-Way leaf switch joystick, which had a very short throw.


Main CPU : Z80 (@ 3.072 Mhz)

Sound Chips : Namco 3-channel WSG (@ 96 Khz)


Screen orientation : Vertical

Video resolution : 224 x 288 pixels

Screen refresh : 60.61 Hz

Palette colors : 16


Players : 2

Control : 4-way joystick


- TRIVIA -


Having won their enhancement kit lawsuit against Atari, General Computing went to Bally Midway and showed them an enhancement kit that they were working on for Pac-Man called Crazy Otto. Crazy Otto was a character similar to Pac-Man with the exception that he had legs. GCC was going to bluff Midway into letting them release their enhancement kit by telling them that they won their lawsuit against Atari, and that they just wanted Midway's blessing. Midway suggested that they create a sequel to the original "Pac-Man" instead of an enhancement kit, and GCC got to work on Ms. Pac-Man. Ms. Pac-Man had two prior names before settling on the one that everyone knows. 'Mrs. Pac-Man' was the original, but some of the women employees at Midway had a problem with that, so it was changed to 'Miss Pac-Man'. When someone pointed out the third intermission, where Pac and Ms. Pac welcome "Jr. Pac-Man" (or Baby Pac-Man) into the fold, they changed it to the final name of 'Ms. Pac-Man'. Midway released "Baby Pac-Man" as a pinball/video hybrid, and General Computing sued the company, claiming they had created the concept of a Pac Family. They won the suit and were awarded royalties from Pac Family merchandise.


In its initial run 110,000 units were produced in the U.S. making it the best selling domestic arcade video game of all time.


The game added a few improvements over the original :

* Non-deterministic artificial intelligence for the ghosts, making it harder for enthusiasts to follow set patterns through levels.

* A variety of different mazes used through the game.

* Bonus items (such as cherries and pretzels) entered the maze and bounced through it, rather than appear in a set location as in the original, making the player go out of his way to attain it.

* Brand new sound effects, including a new 'death' sound and opening theme.


It was also one of the more successful of early arcade games in the female demographic, which has been attributed to 'Ms. Pac-Man' being a girl - although the Ms. Pac-Man sprite was little more than "Pac-Man" with eyelashes, a bow, lipstick and a dimple.


After the 255th level, the maze (including dots) disappears. The game becomes unplayable, since there are no more dots to eat.


Chris Ayra holds the record for this game on 'Regular' settings with 920,310 points on August 16, 1998.

Victor Kunisada holds the record for this game on 'Speed-Up' settings with 922,810 points on June 16, 2001.


Vancouver, Canada (Reuters) - Little seven year old, Al Nagac attained the Guinness World Record for Ms. Pac-Man v.2.97 with a score of 18,976,048. Al was exhausted and dehydrated and asked for several glasses of skim milk after shattering the longtime record of 11,056,736 set by Faith deRivera, who was onhand to congratulate the victor with a kiss on the cheek.


A Ms. Pac-Man unit appears in the 1983 movie 'WarGames', in the 1983 movie 'Joysticks', in the 1984 movie 'Tightrope' (the cab appears in the background of the bar scene), in the 1990 movie 'The Grifters' , in the 1999 movie 'Man In The Moon' and in the 2002 movie 'Van Wilder'.


A Ms. Pac-Man machine was shown at the 2003 classic arcade games show 'California Extreme' in San Jose, California.


Milton Bradley (MB) released a board game based on this video game in 1983. Up to 4 players can play. The maze is divided into four colored areas, representing each player; the object of the game is to clear all the dots in your colored area. Only one player at a time controls Ms. Pac-Man; the other players control the ghosts. Once a ghost catches Ms. Pac-Man, the player controlling that ghost takes over control of Ms. Pac-Man.


Some hacks are known as "Ms. Pac-Man Plus", "Ms. Pac Attack", "Ms. Pac-Man Champion Edition" and "Pac-Gal".


- SCORING -


Dot : 10 points

Power pill (energizer) : 50 points

Ghosts : 200, 400, 800, 1600 points

Cherry : 100 points

Strawberry : 200 points

Peach : 500 points

Pretzel : 700 points

Apple : 1000 points

Pear : 2000 points

Banana : 5000 points


- TIPS AND TRICKS -


* Secret Message : the message 'GENERAL COMPUTER CORPORATION Hello, Nakamura!' is buried at the end of the Ms. Pac-Man ROM image (Masaya Nakamura was head of Namco).


* There's a fairly well-known glitch in the game - if you put a coin in when the Ms. Pac-Man marquee title first appears but before Blinky appears then the first board will be blue instead of pink and will remain blue until you either finish the board or lose a life, after which the board will return to its normal color.


- SERIES -


1. Pac-Man (1980)

2. Ms. Pac-Man (1981)

3. Super Pac-Man (1982)

4. Pac-Man Plus (1982)

5. Jr. Pac-Man (1983)

6. Pac & Pal (1983)

7. Pac-Land (1984)

8. Pac-Mania (1987)

9. Pac-In-Time (1994, Nintendo Super Famicom)

10. Pac-Man 2 - The New Adventures (1994, Nintendo Super Famicom and Sega Mega Drive)

11. Pac-Man VR (1996)

12. Pac-Man World (1999, Sony PlayStation)

13. Pac-Man - Adventures in Time (2000, PC CD-ROM)

14. Ms. Pac-Man Maze Madness (2000, Sony PlayStation)

15. Ms. Pac-Man - Quest for the Golden Maze (2001, PC CD-ROM)

16. Pac-Man All-Stars (2002, PC CD-ROM)

17. Pac-Man Fever (2002, Sony PlayStation 2)

18. Pac-Man World 2 (2002, Sony PlayStation 2, Nintendo GameCube, and Microsoft XBOX; 2004, PC CD-ROM)

19. Pac-Man vs. (2003, Nintendo GameCube)

20. Ms. Pac-Man - Maze Madness (2004, Nintendo GameBoy Advance)

21. Pac-Man World 3 (2005, Sony PSP, Sony PlayStation 2, Nintendo GameCube, Microsoft XBOX, PC CD-ROM, and Nintendo DS)

22. Pac'n Roll (2005, Nintendo DS)

23. Pac-Pix (2005, Nintendo DS)


- PORTS -


* Consoles :

Atari 2600 (1982)

Atari 5200 (1983)

Atari 7800 (1984)

Atari XEGS

Atari Lynx (1990)

Nintendo Famicom (1990) : features 36 different mazes (including the original 4) and allows 2 players to play simultaneously.

Sega Master System (1991)

Sega Game Gear (1993)

Nintendo Game Boy (1993)

Nintendo Super Famicom (1996) : features 36 different mazes (including the original 4) and allows 2 players to play simultaneously.

Sega Mega Drive (1996) : features 36 different mazes (including the original 4) and allows 2 players to play simultaneously.

Sony PlayStation (1996, "Namco Museum Vol.3")

Nintendo Game Boy Color (1999, "Ms. Pac-Man - Special Color Edition")

Nintendo 64 (1999, "Namco Museum 64")

Sega Dreamcast (1999, "Namco Museum")

Nintendo Game Boy Advance (2001, "Namco Museum")

Sony PlayStation 2 (2001, "Namco Museum")

Nintendo GameCube (2002, "Namco Museum")

Microsoft XBOX (2002, "Namco Museum")

Sony PlayStation 2 (2005, "Namco Museum 50th Anniversary")

Microsoft XBOX (2005, "Namco Museum 50th Anniversary")

Nintendo GameCube (2005, "Namco Museum 50th Anniversary")

Nintendo Game Boy Advance (2005, "Namco Museum 50th Anniversary")

Sony PSP (2005, "Namco Museum Battle Collection")

Microsoft Xbox 360 (2007, Xbox Live Arcade)


* Computers :

Apple II (1983)

PC [Booter] (1983)

Commodore VIC-20 (1983)

Texas Instruments TI-99/4A (1983)

Tandy Color Computer (1983, "Miss Gobbler")

Tandy Color Computer (1984, "Ms. Maze")

Commodore C64 (1984)

Sinclair ZX Spectrum (1984)

PC [MS Windows, CD-ROM] (1998, "Microsoft Revenge of Arcade")

PC [MS Windows, CD-ROM] (2000, "Microsoft Return of Arcade 20th Anniversary")

PC [MS Windows, CD-ROM] (2005, "Namco Museum 50th Anniversary")


* Others :

VFD handheld game (1981 - Coleco)

LCD handheld game (1992 - MGA (Micro Games of America))

Mobile Phones (2003)

Ms. Pac-Man TV Game (2004 - Jakk's Pacific)

Ms. Pac-Man TV Game Wireless Version (2005 - Jakk's Pacific)