Ms. Pac-Man: Wikis

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Ms. Pac-Man
Mspacmancabinet.png
The North American Ms. Pac-Man cabinet
Developer(s) Midway / General Computer Corporation
Publisher(s) Midway / Namco
Engine Pac-Man
Platform(s) Arcade
Release date(s) 1981
Genre(s) Maze
Mode(s) Up to 2 players, alternating turns
Input methods 4-way Joystick
Cabinet Upright, cabaret and cocktail
Arcade system Namco Pac-Man

Ms. Pac-Man is an arcade video game produced by Midway as an unauthorized sequel to Pac-Man. It was released in North America in 1981 and became one of the most popular video games of all time, leading to its adoption by Pac-Man licenser Namco as an official title. This game introduces a female protagonist, new maze designs and several minor gameplay changes over the original game.

Contents

Gameplay

The first level of Ms. Pac-Man.

The gameplay of Ms. Pac-Man is largely identical to that of the original Pac-Man. The player gathers points by eating dots and avoiding ghosts (contact with one loses a life). Power-pellets or energizers change the ghosts, which reverse their course and can be eaten for bonus points. Fruit bonuses can be consumed for increasing point values, twice per level. As the levels increase, the speed and difficulty increase as well.

There are, however, some notable differences:

  • The game has four different mazes that appear in different sets of colors. Most of the new mazes have two sets of warp tunnels. Unlike the original Pac-Man, the spaces in between the walls are filled in, making it easier to tell where the path is.
  • The ghosts' behavior patterns are different and include semi-random movement, precluding the use of pre-set patterns to beat each level.
  • Instead of appearing in the center of the maze, fruits bounce around the maze, entering and leaving through the warp tunnels. Once all fruits have been encountered, they appear in random sequence rather than the last fruit repeating.
  • The orange ghost's name is Sue instead of Clyde.
  • The three intermissions have changed to follow the developing relationship between Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man (from when they first meet to having a stork drop off their baby).

As in Pac-Man, the game has a bug in the subroutine that draws the fruit, which renders the 256th level unplayable. However, the game also has other bugs that cause it to crash or become unplayable much sooner, making it impossible to reach the 256th level without an emulator. [1]

Points

Dots: Each dot is worth 10 points. Maze pattern one (levels 1 and 2) has 220 dots; maze pattern two (levels 2, 3, 4) has 240 dots; maze pattern three (levels 6-9) has 238 dots; and maze pattern four (levels 10-13) has 234 dots. Beginning with level 14, mazes alternate between maze patterns three and four every 4 levels.

Power-Pellets (Energizers): Each maze has four power-pellets located in each of the four corners worth 50 points each.

Ghosts: During levels 1 through 16, eating a power-pellet causes the ghosts to reverse course and turn blue. You earn 200 points for the first ghost, 400 points for the second ghost, 800 for the third ghost, and 1600 points for the fourth ghost, all on the same energy pill. From level 17 on, the power-pellet only causes the ghosts to reverse course.

Fruit: Two fruit appear during each level. For each of the first 7 levels the fruit is in a set order: Cherry (100 points each), Strawberry (200), Peach (500), Pretzel (700), Apple (100), Pear (2000), and Banana (5000). From level 8 on, the fruit is random.

History

Ms. Pac-Man was originally conceived as a bootlegged hack of Pac-Man called Crazy Otto, created by programmers employed at the General Computer Corporation (GCC).[2]

The programmers, surprised at the quality of the game they had created, showed it to Midway, Namco's American distributor of the original game. Midway had become impatient in waiting for Namco to release its next Pac-Man game (which would be Super Pac-Man), and were enthusiastic that such a game had come to their attention. They bought the rights to Crazy Otto, changed the sprites to fit the Pac-Man universe, renamed the game Ms. Pac-Man, and released it into arcades.[citation needed]

After the game became wildly popular, Midway and GCC undertook a brief legal battle concerning royalties, but because the game was accomplished without Namco's consent, both companies eventually turned over the rights of Ms. Pac-Man to Namco, fearing a lawsuit. Nonetheless, Ms. Pac-Man was the first of a series of unauthorized sequels that eventually led to the termination of the licensing agreement between Namco and Midway.[2] Ms. Pac-Man was later released on the third Namco Museum game; however, there is no mention of it in Namco's official archives (including the archives on all of the Namco Museum releases).

In 2001, Namco released an arcade board featuring both Ms. Pac-Man and Galaga in honor of the 20th anniversary of both games. It also features Pac-Man as a hidden bonus game. The later 25th Anniversary Edition allows all three games to be selected at the main menu.[citation needed]

Ports

Like many other games of its era, Ms. Pac-Man has been ported to many platforms.

  • A tabletop version of Ms. Pac-Man was released in 1981 by Coleco. The unit was shaped like a miniature arcade cabinet, was controlled with a built-in joystick, and used a multicolor vacuum fluorescent display. [3]
  • Atari Inc released versions of it for its Atari 2600, Atari 5200, Atari 7800, and Atari 8-bit computer line. There were also versions for the Commodore VIC-20, Commodore 64, IBM PC, Apple II, and Texas Instruments TI-99/4A. A version of Ms. Pac-Man was also created for the Puffer exercise bike controller by Jim Leiterman for the Atari 5200 as part of the Puffer project. It was never intended to be published.[4] Atari Corporation also released a version for the Atari Lynx, introducing new mazes and a power-up that gave the player a temporary speed boost.
  • The Mega Drive/Genesis, Master System, and NES versions, by Tengen, and the Super NES version, by Williams Electronics, took a few liberties. They featured four different sets of mazes: the original arcade mazes, bigger mazes, smaller mazes, and "strange" mazes. There was also a Pac-Booster option that let players make Ms. Pac-Man move much faster. All of these versions also allowed two people to play simultaneously, with player 2 as Pac-Man, either cooperatively or competitively. The game also ended at level 32, at which point an intermission that did not occur in the original game took place, where Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man say good bye. Namco also ported Ms. Pac-Man to the Famicom in 1985; this version did not reach North America until 1993. Unlike the Tengen version, it was a straight port of the arcade game without any added features.
  • It has also been included in Namco's, Microsoft's and Atari's late 1990s series of classic game anthologies, and is an unlockable minigame in Pac-Man 2: The New Adventures and Pac-Man World 2.
  • A standalone, battery-powered version of the game released by Jakks Pacific can be plugged directly into a television. Ms. Pac-Man and four other games (Galaga, Mappy, Xevious and Pole Position) are included in a self-contained joystick hand controller.[5]
  • Ms. Pac Man was also a free game bundled with every Xbox Live Arcade disc for the original Xbox. The Xbox 360 XBLA version was released on January 9, 2007, featuring an online leaderboard and twelve achievements.[6]
  • As of July 11, 2008, Ms. Pac Man is available for Apple's iPhone through the App Store, and features all 256 levels.[7] The game was also released in July for Windows Mobile Professional.

Ms. Pac-Man in popular culture

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In film and television

  • In both Ferris Bueller's Day Off and Footloose, a Pac-man dies at crucial moments in the films: in Ferris Bueller's Day Off a Pac-man can be heard dying when Principal Rooney thinks he's caught Ferris in the pizza parlor. In Footloose, the same sound is heard when Reverend Moore finds Ariel and the other town's kids dancing at the drive-in restaurant.
  • In the Friends episode "The One Where Joey Dates Rachel", Chandler & Monica receive a Ms. Pac-Man machine as a wedding present and Chandler becomes addicted to playing it.
  • A Ms. Pac-Man machine is the focus of several scenes in episode "My Own Private Practice Guy" of the TV show Scrubs. The Todd comments "Oh Ms. Pac-man I would sex that bow right off your head. Eat those dots you naughty, naughty girl." Dr. Kelso is also an expert at the game, with an impossibly high score of 40,000,000.[9]
  • In The Simpsons episode "Lisa's First Word," Marge begins telling the story of how Lisa learned to talk by describing the spring of 1983 as a time when "Ms. Pac-man struck a blow for women's rights."
  • In an episode of the animated series Futurama, "Anthology of Interest II", in Fry's video game inspired segment Ms. Pac-Man appears after her husband, General Colin Pac-Man, is killed by a laser bolt from a Space Invader. Fry then asks Amy to "tend to the Widow Pac-Man".[10]
  • In the Drawn Together episode "Gay Bash", Xandir meets Pac-Man (with whom he is friends) at a gay party. Believing Ms. Pac-Man to be his ex-wife, Xandir tells him to keep his gay secret between them (as Ms. Pac-Man is best friends with Xandir's girlfriend). However, it is revealed that Ms. Pac-Man is actually Pac-Man in drag.
  • In an episode of the animated series Family Guy titled "Meet the Quagmires," Peter Griffin is shown playing Menstrual Ms. Pac-Man when he goes back in time to the 80s.[11]
  • In the film Wayne's World, based on the popular SNL sketch Wayne's World, Wayne (Mike Myers) asks the owner of a large arcade chain, Noah Vanderhoff, what the difference between Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man is, "really", to which Noah replies "Well, she has a bow on her head.", prompting Wayne to hold up a card saying "This man has no penis".
  • In the TV show Weeds - Season 5 Episode 6, Andy Botwin goes crazy after his sister in law Nancy Botwin leaves him a goodbye note and walks out of his life. He then goes and buys himself a personal arcade with his conned money, to get over his depression . He is seen playing Ms. Pac-Man for most of the episode, both dazed and confused. When being asked a question he replies, "It feels right you know. She gets me. We're in sync. No words, just a gentle touch of my hand. I move left, she moves left. I move right, she moves right. Yes! Power pellet! Die Inky! Die Blinky! Come here Sue, you filthy little ghost whore".

In a song on The Tonight Show episode from December 14th, 2009 it is stated that Ms. Pacman is a Mormon.

In music

  • Lil Flip's song, Game Over, heavily samples from the game. (eating the fruit, Ms. Pac-Man dying, noise when power pellet is eaten)
  • On the short lived television show Viva Variety, which was broadcast on Comedy Central, Johnny Blue Jeans sang a song titled "I Love you Ms. Pac-Man."
  • In the song "Trying to Find a Balance" by underground hip-hop artist "Atmosphere" these lyrics can be found - "I was just a ghost trying to catch some Ms. Pac-Man"

Reception and legacy

In 2009, Game Informer put Ms. Pac-Man 10th on their list of "The Top 200 Games of All Time", saying that it "trumped [the original Pac-Man] in nearly every way".[12]

References

  1. ^ Donhodges.Com—Ms. Pac-Man's Kill Screens Analyzed And Fixed
  2. ^ a b [http://www.klov.com/game_detail.php?game_id=8782 Ms. Pac-Man Videogame by Midway (1981) - The International Arcade Museum and the KLOV
  3. ^ Coleco Ms Pac Man
  4. ^ Reichert, Matt, 5200 Rumor Mill: Puffer Ms. Pac-Man, http://www.atariprotos.com/rumormill/5200/5200rumor.htm#M, retrieved 2007-10-24 
  5. ^ Welcome to JAKKS TV Games >> Ms. Pac-Man
  6. ^ Ms. Pac-Man Game Detail Page, xbox.com
  7. ^ Ms. PAC-MAN now available for your iPod
  8. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0083461/
  9. ^ "My own private practice guy", Season 2, Episode 41
  10. ^ "Anthology of interest II", Episode 50, Production code 3ACV18
  11. ^ "Meet the Quagmires", Episode 98, Production code 5ACX13
  12. ^ The Game Informer staff (December 2009). "The Top 200 Games of All Time". Game Informer (200): 44–79. ISSN 1067-6392. OCLC 27315596. 

External links


Strategy wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From StrategyWiki, the free strategy guide and walkthrough wiki

Ms. Pac-Man
Box artwork for Ms. Pac-Man.
Developer(s) General Computer Corporation
Publisher(s) Midway Games (original), Namco (current)
Japanese title ミズパックマン
Release date(s)
Genre(s) Action
System(s) Arcade, Apple II, Atari 8-bit, Atari 2600, Atari 5200, Atari 7800, Atari Lynx, Commodore 64/128, Commodore VIC-20, Game Boy, Game Boy Color, NES, TI-99/4A, Sega Genesis, Sega Master System, SNES, Xbox Live Arcade, Mobile, iPod, iPhone
Players 1-2
Preceded by Pac-Man
Followed by Baby Pac-Man
Jr. Pac-Man
Series Pac-Man
Ms. Pac-Man marquee

When Pac-Man was still hot in the arcades, a small company known as GCC, or General Computing Corp., was in the business of making arcade "enhancements" which were essentially small hacks designed to make certain games more appealing. GCC was known for an add on that they sold for Atari's Missile Command when they sat down to design a hack for Pac-Man. They surprised themselves with the quality of the hack, which they had entitled "Crazy Otto" and pitched the idea to Midway Games.

Midway was hungry to cash in on the Pac-Man phenomenon that was occurring at the time, and Namco's own sequel to Pac-Man, Super Pac-Man, was still a few months out of development, so they bought the rights to "Crazy Otto" and renamed it Ms. Pac-Man in an effort to entice more females to play arcade games. Namco was not pleased with Midway's alteration of Pac-Man into a new game. As a result, a deal was struck between the two companies that would hand the rights of Ms. Pac-Man back over to Namco after a number of years. Ms. Pac-Man was not quite as acknowledged by Namco in Japan until very recently when it seems, in perhaps a nod to the newer game's popularity and quality, it began appearing in select compilations.

Ms. Pac-Man expands on Pac-Man in the following ways. Instead of one static blue-on-black maze, there are now four multi-colored mazes to complete. Instead of the fruit appearing stationary below the ghost pen, it now bounces in through a tunnel, takes a few laps around the pen, and bounces back out if not eaten. Instead of just one escape tunnel, there are (in all but one of the mazes) two sets of tunnels. And lastly, Ms. Pac-Man introduces an element of randomness to the ghosts' behavior which eliminated the effectiveness of patterns that crippled the earning power of Pac-Man, and makes Ms. Pac-Man much more of a game of skill then memorization.

Ms. Pac-Man was considerably faster than Pac-Man as well, but some players felt that it wasn't fast enough. Hackers began to offer unofficial EPROM upgrades that sped the game up. Most of these mods sped up the player, but not the ghosts, making the game easier and more attractive to novice players.

Story

Like Pac-Man, there really is no story element per se, but the intermissions that you are treated to tell the story of how Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man meet, fall in love, and have a child together (dropped off by a passing stork.)

Table of Contents

Gameplay summary

Title screen
  • You control Ms. Pac-Man through each maze with the joystick.
  • You must eat every dot and energizer to advance to the next stage.
  • You must avoid contact with the ghosts while they are their normal color.
  • If you eat an energizer, the ghosts will turn blue, and you may eat them for bonus points until they turn back to their normal color.
  • Ghosts travel at half speed through the side escape tunnels. Use them to get away.
  • A fruit or pretzel will appear from one of the escape tunnels twice per stage and bounce around the ghost pen.
  • Eat the fruit or pretzel for bonus points. They will leave the maze if uneaten.

Gaming

Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Wikia Gaming, your source for walkthroughs, games, guides, and more!

Ms. Pac-Man

Developer(s) Midway
General Computer Corporation
Publisher(s) Midway
Arcade
Atari
Atari 2600
Atari 5200
Atari 7800
Tengen
NES
Sega Genesis
Williams
Super Nintendo
Namco
Game Boy
Game Gear
Release date Arcade:
1981 (NA)
Atari 2600:
1982 (NA)
Atari 5200:
1983 (NA)
Atari 7800:
1986 (NA)
Genre Maze
Mode(s) Single player
1-2 players alternating
Age rating(s) N/A
Atari 2600
Platform(s) Arcade
Atari 2600
Apple II
Atari 8 Bit
Atari 5200
Atari 7800
Commodore 64
Nintendo Entertainment System
Sega Genesis
Super Nintendo
Game Boy
Game Gear
Game Boy Color
Game Boy Advance
As Part of:
Namco Museum
Input Atari 2600 Joystick
Credits | Soundtrack | Codes | Walkthrough


Ms. Pac-Man is an arcade game released in 1981. Unlike its predecessor Pac-Man, this game was not developed by Namco, but by Midway through an outside company called General Computer Corporation (GCC) that created this game as a hack of Pac-Man that they intended to release as Crazy Otto. After the game became wildly popular, Midway and GCC undertook a brief legal battle concerning royalties, but because the game was accomplished without Namco's consent, both companies eventually turned over the rights of Ms. Pac-Man to Namco, fearing a lawsuit. Nonetheless, Ms. Pac-Man was the first of a series of unauthorized sequels that eventually led to the termination of the licensing agreement between Namco and Midway

Contents

Gameplay

The game features four different screens and moving fruit, whereas the original Pac-Man had only one screen and stationary fruit. (The Tengen and Williams versions released for the NES, the Genesis, and the Super Nintendo had a total of 36 different screens.) The Atari 2600 version has four skill levels that let you choose how many ghosts you wish to contend with.

The player guides Ms. Pac-Man through the mazes eating dots and avoiding the ghosts that want to devour her. Use the power pellets to turn the tables on the ghosts and eat them, and escape from one side of the maze to the other by using the tunnels.

After a few screens, like Pac-Man, an intermission plays, this time detailing the romanticism of both Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man.

Scoring

  • Pellet -- 10 points
  • Power pellet -- 50 points
  • Blue ghost -- 200 points (first), 400 (second), 800 (third), and 1600 (fourth)
  • Fruit prizes
  • Cherry -- 100 points
  • Strawberry -- 200 points
  • Orange -- 500 points
  • Pretzel -- 700 points
  • Apple -- 1000 points
  • Pear -- 2000 points
  • Banana -- 5000 points

Ms. Pac-Man as "Video Game Babe"

It is presumed that the creation of the Ms. Pac-Man character was the introduction to a type of character referred to as the "video game babe," a prominent feature that would show up in later generations of video games as graphics technology evolved to show realistic female humanoid forms to appeal to the core audience of male gamers.

Notes

Namco released a limited-release version of this game for the NES which is more closer to the Gameboy version in appearance and gameplay.

An arcade-faithful homebrew adaptation of this game was developed for the ColecoVision and released in 2009 as Pac-Man Collection, which also features an arcade-faithful adaptation of Pac-Man and Pac-Man Plus.

The Game Boy Color version of this game also includes a portable version of Super Pac-Man as a bonus game.

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Gallery


Pac-Man series
Arcade game series
Pac-Man | Ms. Pac-Man | Super Pac-Man | Pac & Pal | Baby Pac-Man | Jr. Pac-Man | Pac-Land | Pac-Mania
Professor Pac-Man | Pac-Man Arrangement | Pac-Man VR
Console game series
Pac-Attack | Pac-In-Time | Pac-Man 2: The New Adventures | Pac-Man World | Ms. Pac-Man Maze Madness
Pac-Man: Adventures in Time | Pac-Man Collection | Ms. Pac-Man: Quest for the Golden Maze | Pac-Man Fever
Pac-Man World 2 | Pac-Man Vs. | Pac-Pix | Pac 'n Roll | Pac-Man World 3 | Pac-Man World Rally
Pac-Man Championship Edition | Pac-Man Carnival

This article uses material from the "Ms. Pac-Man" article on the Gaming wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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