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Catalogue of Arcade Emulation Software - the Absolute Reference

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Pac-Man (Midway)


Pac-Man (c) 10/1980 Namco.


The seminal and hugely influential arcade game in which the player guides the legendary Pac-Man around a single-screen maze eating dots. Pac-Man is constantly pursued in his task by four ghosts - Blinky (red), Pinky (pink), Inky (blue) and Clyde (orange). Each ghost has its own unique personality and behavioral patterns and a single touch from any of the ghosts results in Pac-Man losing a life.


Four 'Power Pills' are situated in each corner of the rectangular mazes and eating one of these makes Pac-Man temporarily invincible; the four ghosts also change to dark blue in color and can now be eaten by Pac-Man. These 'Skinned' ghosts, now visible as a pair of eyes only, will then return to the den in the middle of the maze, regenerate into their former selves, and return to the maze to continue their pursuit of Pac-Man.


Each maze contains 240 dots and 4 Power Pills, and all must be eaten to complete the level; whereupon the entire sequence begins again with an increased level of difficulty. Between every two, three, or four completed levels, animated intermissions, or 'cut scenes', are played. These intermissions are not seen after the 18th board (6th key) has been reached, however.


Occasionally, a bonus fruit or prize item will temporarily appear in the middle of the maze below the ghosts' den. Pac-Man can eat these bonus items to receive extra points. Also, there is an escape tunnel on the left and right hand side of the maze that Pac-Man can use to escape any ghosts that are currently closing in on him. The ghosts can also use the tunnel, but take longer to pass through it than Pac-Man, making escape a little easier.


- TECHNICAL -


Main CPU : Z80 (@ 3.072 Mhz)

Sound Chips : Namco 3-channel WSG


Screen orientation : Vertical

Video resolution : 224 x 288 pixels

Screen refresh : 60.61 Hz

Palette colors : 16


Players : 2

Control : 4-way joystick


- TRIVIA -


Licensed to Midway for US manufacture and distribution. 96,000 units were produced in the U.S.


Toru Iwatani, author of Pac-Man : Pac Man's character is difficult to explain even to the Japanese -- he is an innocent character. He hasn't been educated to discern between good and evil. He acts more like a small child than a grown-up person. Think of him as a child learning in the course of his daily activities. If someone tells him guns are evil, he would be the type to rush out and eat guns. But he would most probably eat any gun, even the pistols of policemen who need them.


Pac-Man was first introduced to the arcades at the end of 1980 and immediately captured the hearts and imaginations of the public like no other game before it, and few since. It is still regarded as the hallmark of the 'golden age' of video games.


Developed by Namco, the original Japanese release was called "Puckman" but, due to the West's predilection with changing words to vulgarities by scratching part of the word off (in this case, changing the word 'Puck' to something rather less socially acceptable by scratching off part of the letter 'P'), was changed to 'Pac-Man'. The name Pac-Man is derived from the Japanese slang word 'paku-paku', which in English means 'to eat'.


In Brazil, the game was unofficially named by the children as 'Come-Come' (lit. he eats-he eats, in Portuguese). Also an onomatopoeic, from the sound the character does when walking/eating. In Italy, the same sound is referred as a meaningless 'Gabo Gabo'. In Spain it was called 'Comecocos' (coconut-eater).


Pac-Man was, quite literally, conceived at lunchtime. The game's designer, the then twenty-six year old Toru Iwatani, ordered himself a pizza for lunch. He took one slice, and, looking at the rest of the pizza, and Pac-Man was born. The game took 1.5 years to complete and had five people on its team. Pac-Man is the greatest selling arcade game of all time and is arguably also the world's most recognized video-game character of all time. Pac-Man had its own cartoon, lunch box, board game, stickers and hundreds of other products. This was largely due to Pac-Man being the first truly distinctive video-game 'character', and it changed the face of video games forever. Pac-Man was also the first video game to be as equally popular with women as it was with men. Pac-Man's cult status in the early 80s was such that it even inspired a hit song by 'Buckner and Garcia' called 'Pac-Man Fever', released on the album of the same name.


* A place in video game history : 'Pac-Man is the most universally known arcade game', said Chris Lindsey, director of the National Video Game and Coin-Op Museum in St. Louis. 'Everybody knows about Pac-Man. And, I've noticed, almost everybody can play Pac-Man pretty well. Pac-Man makes just about the best use of the joystick one can imagine. It's so intuitive that it puts other games to shame in terms of how easy it is for a person to walk up, stick a quarter in the machine, and start doing something meaningful. At the time, Pac-Man introduced a completely unique style of game play and was also highly identifiable in terms of its music. With Pac-Man, everything was there. The video game industry needs another game that captures the public's heart like Pac-Man, and so far, no one has been able to come up with it.'.


* The great 25-cent escape : Lindsey says, 'People expect to see Pac-Man when they come into the museum, and without fail, when they see it, they want to play it; people remember spending hours and hours at Pac-Man. They like to see how good they are now when they play it. And I would say that, perhaps more than any other game, the same playing skills still apply. Perhaps it's because of the intuitive game play. You don't have to memorize the behavior of a wide array of enemies as you do with some other games.'.

You just have to remember that when the ghosts turn blue, you only have seconds, until they start seriously blinking, to go and get them. And Pac-Man is a little looser in its style of game play - more open. For instance, you can kill time in the lower left hand corner until you see an opening between the ghosts, and you can strategize a bit more : You can play with the tunnels, you can play with the position of the ghosts in relation to the energizers. Even people who haven't played in years remember those strategies.

You can also get into some really fun jams, Lindsey continues : 'When you've got a ghost on your tail and you have to make a decision about whether you're going to go left, or right, or straight at the next junction, which is in .03 seconds. It gets to be pretty tense, especially when those ghosts start moving really fast and the energizers aren't lasting as long. Pac-Man can be a real heart-thumping game.'.


After the 255th level, Pac-man presents the player with the infamous 'split-screen' level, where the left-half of the screen is normal, but the right-half of the screen is garbled with a mess of letters, numbers, symbols and other graphics. This level cannot be completed.


The alien spaceship "Galaxian" makes an appearance as the prize in the 9th and 10th boards.


Reportedly, when Bally/Midway obtained the rights to Pac-Man, Namco was offering four different games, which ended up being licensed to Game Plan and Bally/Midway. Game Plan's Ken Anderson reports that he and Bally's Dave Marofske flipped a coin to see who would get first crack at the games. Game Plan won and chose a tank game (which they released as "Tank Battalion") over Pac-Man. The other game they got was released as "King & Balloon". Bally/Midway, meanwhile, took Pac-Man and "Rally X".


The game also spawned a virtual cottage industry of best-selling how-to books strategy guides on how to beat the game by using patterns with names like the GET patter (after the first initials of its three creators, Bazo's Breaker, and the Donut Dazzler).


Note : Excluding bootlegs, there are 23 different name/nickname combinations for the ghosts in Pac-Man (27 including 'Sue' from "Ms. Pac-Man", 'Tim' from "Jr. Pac-Man", and 'Funky' and 'Spunky', both from "Pac-Mania").


'Galaxian' boards will run in Pac-Man machines, but the sound pinout is different, so the pinout at the connector would have to be modified. To fire, one would have to press UP on the joystick.


Billy Mitchell, Chris Ayra and Rick Fothergill all hold the official record for this game on 'Regular' settings with a perfect score of 3,333,360 points on July 3, 1999; February 2, 2002 and February 2, 2002, also, respectively.

Chris Ayra holds the official record for the fastest time to get a perfect game on 'Regular' settings with 3:42:05 on April 2, 2002.

Ron Corcoran holds the official record for this game on 'Speedup' settings with 1,321,020 points on May 13, 2001.


Hacks of this game are known as "Hangly Man", and "Caterpillar".


A Pac-Man unit appears in the movie 'Getting There', in the 1982 movie 'Jekyll & Hyde - Together Again', in the 1982 movie 'Fast Times at Ridgemont High', in the 1983 movie 'WarGames', in the 1983 movie 'Joysticks', in the 1983 movie 'Koyaanisqatsi - Life out of Balance', in the 1985 movie 'The Heavenly Kid', and in the 1986 movie 'The colour of Money'.


A Pac-man Unit appears in the pilot of Season One of the A-Team. It is where Amy meets Murdock for the first time


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


MB (Milton Bradley) released a boardgame based on this video game (Pac-Man Game) in 1982.


'Pac-man' is also the nickname of the Filipino boxing champion Manny Pacquiao. The two-time world champion earned the distinction as the only boxer who has knocked down both future Mexican 'Hall of Famer' Marco Antonio 'Baby Face Assassin' Barrera (knocked out in 11th round)and Erik 'El Terrible' Morales (knocked out in 10th round). Pacquiao has been on the top 10 list of the best 'pound-for-pound' fighters in the world.


In the multi-racial country of Malaysia, 'Pac-Man' is a slang coined to describe men who only date ladies of other races.


The name 'Pac-man' has been given to a nebula, cataloged as NGC 281. The Pac-man Nebula is an H II region in the constellation of Cassiopeia. It includes or is near the open cluster IC 1590, the double star HD 5005, and several Bok globules. The shape of the nebula resembles the famous video game icon, Pac-Man. It is visible in amateur telescopes from dark sky locations.


- UPDATES -


As mentioned earlier, Pac-Man's ghosts have names and nicknames which were : Shadow (Blinky), Speedy (Pinky), Bashful (Inky), and Pokey (Clyde). The are red, pink, blue, and orange in color, respectively. In the original "Puckman", the ghosts were named Oikake (Akabei), Machibuse (Pinky), Kimagure (Aosuke), and Otoboke (Guzuta). Puckman also had a DIP switch for alternate ghost names : Urchin (Macky), Romp (Micky), Stylist (Mucky), and Crybaby (Mocky).


Midway's new revision program for Pac-Man was released in 12/1981, the new program increases the difficulty of the game and adds a new challenge to players already familiar with the original.


The Bootleg version on the 'Galaxian' hardware has different colors and screen proportions. Credit, Level & Lives remaining are incorporated in the Maze section (look at the middle exits). The sound is also quite a bit different.


- SCORING -


Dot : 10 points

Power pill (energizer) : 50 points

Ghosts : 200, 400, 800, 1600 points

Cherry : 100 points.

Strawberry : 300 points.

Peach : 500 points.

Apple : 700 points.

Pineapple : 1000 points.

Galaxian : 2000 points.

Bell : 3000 points.

Key : 5000 points.


- TIPS AND TRICKS -


Easter egg :

1) Enter service mode.

2) Press and hold the 1P and 2P buttons and toggle service mode off and on quickly to bring up the alignment grid.

3) Enter the sequence: Up(x4), Left(x4), Right(x4), Down(x4)

4) MADE BY NAMCO will appear sideways in red.


- 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)


- STAFF -


Designed by : Toru Iwatani

Programmed by : Hideyuki Mokajima

Music & Sound by : Toshio Kai


- PORTS -


* Consoles :

Bally Astrocade ("Muncher")

Atari 2600 (1981)

Atari 5200 (1982)

Colecovision (1983)

Mattel Intellivision (1983)

Emerson Arcadia ("Gobbler")

Atari XEGS

Nintendo Famicom (1987)

Nintendo Famicom Disk (1990)

Sega Game Gear (1990)

SNK Neo-Geo Pocket (1990)

Nintendo Game Boy (1991)

Sony PlayStation (1995, "Namco Museum Vol.1")

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

Nintendo 64 (1999, "Namco Museum 64")

Sega Dreamcast (1999, "Namco Museum")

Nintendo Game Boy Advance (2001, "Pac-Man Collection")

Sony PlayStation 2 (2001, "Namco Museum")

Nintendo GameCube (2002, "Namco Museum")

Microsoft XBOX (2002, "Namco Museum")

Nintendo Game Boy Advance (2004, Famicom Mini Series)

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") : a brand new 'Arrangement' version unique to this port is also featured.

Microsoft XBOX 360 (2006, as a downloadable Live Arcade game)


* Computers :

Exidy Sorcerer (1981, "Chomp")

Tandy Color Computer (1981, "Pac-Tac")

Tandy Color Computer (1982, "Ghost Gobbler")

Tandy Color Computer (1982, "Pack Maze")

Atari 400 (1982)

Atari 800 (1982)

PC [Booter] (1982, "PC-Man)

Commodore VIC-20 (1982)

BBC B (1982, Acornsoft): Renamed "Snapper" after Acornsoft was sued.

Commodore C64 (1983)

Tandy Color Computer (1983, "Pac-Tac II")

Tandy Color Computer (1983, "Pac Jaws")

PC [Booter] (1983)

PC [Booter] (1983, "Ascii Man", a part of the "Friendlyware PC Arcade" suite)

PC [MS-DOS] (1983)

Texas Instruments TI-99/4A (1983)

Fujitsu FM-7 (1984)

Acorn Electron (1984, "Snapper")

MSX (1984)

Amstrad CPC (1985)

Thomson TO8 (1986, "Compilation Contacthoms")

Atari ST (1986, "Spook - Mighty Munchers")

Tandy Color Computer (1990, "Pac-Dude")

Apple Macintosh (1992, "Mac-Man")

PC [MS Windows 95] (1995, "Mac-Man", part of "Windows Arcade Pack")

PC [MS Windows 95, 3.5''](1995, "Microsoft Return of Arcade")

Tandy Color Computer 3 (1997)

PC [MS-DOS] (1997, "ChampPac-Em" - CHAMProgramming)

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

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

Sinclair ZX Spectrum

Apple II

Sharp X68000


* Others :

VFD portable game (1980, "Pac-Man 2", called Pac Man 2 because it allowed two people to play at once) by Entex.

VFD portable game (1980, "Hungry Pac", Japanese release only) by Entex.

VFD handheld game (1981) by Coleco.

LCD flip-type handheld game (1984) by Tiger (Released overseas by Orlitronic).

LCD large screen handheld game (1984) by Tiger (Released overseas by Orlitronic).

LCD handheld game (1992) released by MGA (Micro Games of America).

Arcade (1996, "Namco Classics Collection Vol.2")

LCD handheld color game (1999) released by MGA (Micro Games of America).

Mobile Phones (2003)

Namco Classics TV game (2003 - Jakks Pacific).

Super Pac-Man TV game (2006 - Jakks Pacific).

Apple I Pod (2006)


- SOURCES -


All In Color For a Quarter - Keith Smith