Question about Pac-Man

#1
Ya know, i never figured it out. in the many years of playing the Pac-Man coin ops, i never figured why....

On the cabinet side art, there's an oddball character that i would only suppose is Pac-Man himself, but he isn't correctly drawn. this is original side art btw:



Is that weird yellow character supposed to be Pac-Man? if you look at the later games you see his looks appear to revolve around his in-game appearance:



Has anyone else noticed that?
 
#3
i am the same. i die on level 1 or 2 lol!

I'm pretty good at Ms. Pac-Man though. she moves faster than Pac Man and can evade the Ghosts much better lol.

BTW there's also another oddity. on Pac-Man, the last Ghost is 'Clyde' but the same ghost on Ms. Pac-Man has changed not only names but genders and has become 'Sue'
 

cronus

DTVUSA Member
#4
Did the ghosts actually differ in speed? I remember people used to try to say that the red ghost was the fastest. I thought they were all the same.
 

andrew25

DTVUSA Member
#5
That is interesting I had never seen this differences although I had played it a hundred of times. It reminds me that nothing in the world is perfect which are man made and it applies to large number of products.
 
#6
Actually there was an A.I. on the ghosts. Blinky (red ghost) always had not only the fastest speed but was also always after Pac-Man; his name is really 'Shadow' and that is because he always 'shadows' pac-man.

the others like 'Bashful' (inky) are just cruisers on the maze and don't initially chase Pac-Man until visible. they eventually find him and sometimes dead-end him on a corner. that's how i always lose. they get me boxed in with no way out.

Either way i always laughed at the death sound. esp today it is so 1980s.

There's also a neat fact in the game crashing if it was ever won. the game was never designed to be beat, so level 256 after completion would wipe out the game or make it graphically impossible to go further. the game had to draw fruits (at the bottom) in 256 bytes, so after level 256 there was no way the game could draw any more fruits, so it tried combining the previous 256 fruits in attempt to draw a new one, but it was impossible and would crash the game.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2K7orNZNGU8
 
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#7
I never noticed the differences before either. Of course, I had a good reason. By the time I got to the arcades, I was usually drunk and didn't care and just played the game. LOL
 
#8
Wow! I can't believe I know too little about the game that have eaten most of my time when I was younger. Thanks for the info! And by the way, at least I can get to 5 keys on the game! haha! Has anyone actually finished the game? What's next the KEY stages?
 
#9
The game doesn't really finish. it doesn't have any closing 'you won' sequence like games today do nor any secret videos or easter eggs like when you beat a new game. it was a game designed to be fun and get a higher score than your friends. back when 'beating' the game was unheard of.

That being, after Level 255 the game crashes. the CPU cannot handle drawing the last fruit at Level 256 since the game only consists of 256 bytes. so after Level 255 the CPU attempts to draw 256 fruits only to wipe it out or really screw up the video where one cannot go further but the game keeps going anyways. today it's all about what would happen if one could actually 'beat' Level 256. so far it's considered 'impossible'

Today people have memorized the patterns of the Ghost A.I. (primitive but it's there, but the Ghosts only have so many combos of moves, kinda like Chess) so it's possible to get to Level 255, something the designers of the game never expected.

Another bit of Trivia: Pac-Man from 1981-onward is not the original Pac-Man. the TI-99 computer from Texas Instruments in the late 1970s had one of the originals, Puckman with similar game play. Atari had a game available called Pac Man but the game was very different looking and the sound effects primitive. you'll sometimes hear the Atari version whenever someone's playing a Wii or Sega on Sitcoms, even though those systems never had those games, it's just a generic game sound used in a lot of TV when an Arcade or home console is there.
 
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#11
Today people have memorized the patterns of the Ghost A.I. (primitive but it's there, but the Ghosts only have so many combos of moves, kinda like Chess) so it's possible to get to Level 255, something the designers of the game never expected.
It's amazing to me that people have enough time on their hands to do something like this. Seems so trivial to me, but who am I to judge, I'm at work typing on a forum about video games. ;)

Pretty cool info there DTVuser.
 
#12
RE: side art being not very well done, they sure got the ghost drawn well lol!

I am drifting towards that frog-like likeness to PacMan being more of one of the original concepts that slipped and made it to few coin-ops until later superceded by the likeness you see today which Namco uses.
 

Aaron62

Contributor
Staff member
#13
Every weekend my parents and I would make a trip to the grocery store which I loved because they had Ms. Pacman. My dad would give me a dollar and it was always my gole to make it last for the full 30-45 minutes that it took them to shop. 2-3 years of mastery of ms. pac-man on the weekends and I had it down to 2 quarters for a 45 minute shopping trip. :)

Anyway the cabinet art on Ms. Pacman was much more accurate than plain ole Pacman. This was kind of something like it...

 
U

Unregistered

Guest
#16
Ya know, i never figured it out. in the many years of playing the Pac-Man coin ops, i never figured why....

On the cabinet side art, there's an oddball character that i would only suppose is Pac-Man himself, but he isn't correctly drawn. this is original side art btw:



Is that weird yellow character supposed to be Pac-Man? if you look at the later games you see his looks appear to revolve around his in-game appearance:



Has anyone else noticed that?
Yes that yellow thing with legs was the original concept for how Pacman would look like in the cartoon world. I think one reason for that had to do with you just could not get all the detail you wanted on something as small as Pacman was in the game. You have to understand, this was created at a time where a single red dot in a video game probably represented an ancient warrior with a sword ;-). So in the minds of the creators, that might have been the look they really wanted but it was represented by a yellow circle :). That or the artist in charge of designing the cabinet art didnt have a full understanding of the game or it was his own vision of what Pacman should look like in a cartoon version
 
U

Unregistered

Guest
#17
Today people have memorized the patterns of the Ghost A.I. (primitive but it's there, but the Ghosts only have so many combos of moves, kinda like Chess) so it's possible to get to Level 255, something the designers of the game never expected.

Another bit of Trivia: Pac-Man from 1981-onward is not the original Pac-Man. the TI-99 computer from Texas Instruments in the late 1970s had one of the originals, Puckman with similar game play. Atari had a game available called Pac Man but the game was very different looking and the sound effects primitive. you'll sometimes hear the Atari version whenever someone's playing a Wii or Sega on Sitcoms, even though those systems never had those games, it's just a generic game sound used in a lot of TV when an Arcade or home console is there.
Your trivia is slightly flawed :). Pacman was the original and used in America. Puckman was the Japanese version of the exact same game but when it was ported to the US, they realized the "P" could too easily be changed to an "F" by crazy kids. So it was renamed!

The TI game are referring to was called "Munchman" which was one of the first of thousands of Pacman clones. Instead of dots to eat, everywhere you went, you left a chain. You had to fill the entire maze with the chain to beat it. You were chased around by various shapes. And it did come out after the original Pacman. I remember playing the TI Munchman in the department stores on a display. I wanted that soooo bad because the Atari 2600 was soooo bad! Also back then, Atari games were often created in a week or so. It was thought that if it had the name Pacman on it and somewhat resembled it, it would sell millions! Well it did but it still sucked! It wasnt till Ms. Pacman for the Atari 2600 came out where there was some relief because that one did resemble the original MUCH better, and was actually fun!

As for the sound effects you usually hear on TV, I find its always either Pacman or Donkey Kong on the Atari 2600. Ive often wondered why they always only use these two games sound effects. Maybe they were not properly copyrighted or something?
Kelly
 
U

Unregistered

Guest
#18
Today people have memorized the patterns of the Ghost A.I. (primitive but it's there, but the Ghosts only have so many combos of moves, kinda like Chess) so it's possible to get to Level 255, something the designers of the game never expected.
The ghost have two different ways they play. They always start out on a fixed pattern but when all 4 change direction at the same time, then they move at will and hunt you down. after 30 seconds or so, they will avoid you and go into a pattern that takes each one to each corner of the board and stay there going in circles till the 4th one gets there. Then they will change directions again and come after you. They pretty much just repeat that setup over and over again. When you see them going into the 4 corners, you can feel safe to go for those hard-to-get dots because they do not see you.

Check out a book from back then called "Video Masters Guide to Pacman". You can still find them on ebay and wherever but was probably the best book on all the secrets on how the game works. It would even make a fun nostalga buy...I bought one ;-)
 
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