Box art of the Sega Master System version
|Publisher(s)||Namco / Atari Games|
|Platform(s)||Arcade, Amiga, Commodore 64, MSX, NES, Master System, Mega Drive, Sharp X68000, ZX Spectrum, Zeebo, Game Boy Advance, Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, Atari Jaguar, Virtual Console|
|Mode(s)||Up to 2 players, alternating turns|
|Input methods||4-way Joystick, 1 button|
|Arcade system||Namco System 1|
Pac-Mania (パックマニア) is an arcade video game in the Pac-Man series, released by Namco in 1987 and distributed by Atari Games in the United States and Europe. It is a pseudo-3D interpretation of the classic maze game genre and features most elements of the original Pac-Man, as well as several new features. Pac-Mania runs on Namco System 1 hardware.
As in Pac-Man, the objective of Pac-Mania is to score as many points as possible. The player controls Pac-Man and attempts to eat all the dots in a maze, while avoiding being caught by ghosts that roam the maze. The player can eat power pellets that cause the ghosts to turn dark blue and become vulnerable; the player can then eat these ghosts for extra points, sending them back to their pen to return to their original color and behavior.
Pac-Mania contains several new features and significant differences from its original counterpart. The most noticeable change is the view used, cabinet projection, an oblique pseudo-3D format, in which Pac-Man always occupies the center of the screen and a virtual camera moves around the level to follow him. In addition, the player can press a button to cause Pac-Man to jump, allowing him to evade most ghosts by jumping over them. However, Pac-Man cannot jump over the gray ghost as well as Pac-Man having to jump early.
Joining Blinky, Pinky, Inky and Clyde from the original Pac-Man is Sue (purple), a ghost who will home in on Pac-Man's direction and will follow him around, and two new ghosts (green and steel gray) that jump whenever Pac-Man jumps. (It is hinted through the game's intermissions that the names of the new ghosts are Funky and Spunky, or "Common" and "Grey Common" in the Japanese version, though this is never made completely clear.) In later stages, larger numbers of ghosts appear in a single stage. Also, bonus objects in this game not only include traditional point-scoring fruits, but also power-up items that can have random effects, such as doubling the point values of ghosts or causing Pac-Man to move much faster than normal.
The game takes place in four environments: Block Town (made up of Lego-like building blocks), Pac-Man Park (a 3D version of the original Pac-Man maze), Sandbox Land (walls are made up of pyramids), and Jungly Steps (appearing as pathways with no railings, resembling a set of steps that rise toward the back of the maze). A fifth "secret" level was unlockable by completing the first level (Block Town) without eating any Power Pellets which opened up "Coin Town" which was identical in layout to Block Town but all pellets were worth more points and munching ghosts yielded the maximum bonus without needing to accumulate 'kills'. The game has a limited number of levels, after which the player is shown a brief ending and production credits, and is prompted for his/her initials if he/she has placed on the high score list. The number of levels varies by version. DIP switches in the game can be set to make the game endless.
Pac-Mania was ported to the Amiga, Atari ST, Commodore 64, Mega Drive/Genesis, Nintendo Entertainment System, Sega Master System, Sharp X68000, ZX Spectrum, MSX, and the RISC OS operating system for the Acorn Archimedes. Teque Software developed the majority of these and were published by Grandslam Entertainment. The Amiga and Atari ST won the Golden Joystick award for Best 16 Bit Arcade Conversion. Many of these ported versions are considered to be easier than arcade version. The Amiga version features advanced graphics and a soundtrack that has been rearranged for digitized instrument samples by Ben Daglish.
An accurate arcade emulation of the North American version of Pac-Mania appears on Namco Museum 50th Anniversary, and the Game Boy Advance's Pac-Man Collection. Although the one on the 128-bit Namco Museum and Namco Museum Volume 5 also includes a port of the arcade game, they are more based on the Japanese version, as evidenced by its lack of a high score screen and its inclusion of a continue feature. See the article Namco Museum for a chart of games, including Pac-Mania.
A Virtual Console arcade version was released in Japan on August 4, 2009.
|System(s)||Arcade, Commodore Amiga, Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC, Sega Genesis, MSX, NES, Sega Master System, Sharp X68000, Acorn Archimedes, Atari ST, Sinclair ZX Spectrum|
Just like most of the other games in the Pac-Man series, the object is for Pac-Man to eat all of the pellets before he is caught by the ghosts. This game has several significant changes from the original format. The first and most noticeable change is that the board is viewed in an isometric, 3D format. Because of this, it can sometimes be difficult to remember where the ghosts or the remaining pellets are. Secondly, and more importantly, Pac-Man can now jump. This in principle makes evading ghosts easier.
The ghosts are Blinky (red), Pinky (pink), Inky (light blue), Clyde (orange), Sue (purple and from Pac-Land) and two new ghosts, Funky (green) and Spunky (gray).
The most significant feature of these new ghosts is that they can jump as well (whenever Pac-Man jumps), beginning on the sixth round respectively. However, Funky does not jump as high as Pac-Man and with good timing, Pac-Man can jump over him. Spunky, however, jumps just as high as Pac-Man, and thus cannot be jumped over at all; often he will appear at the worst possible times, blocking any escape route. (They continue to be able to jump when edible, and even their bare eyes jump after they have been eaten.)
Making the game even more difficult is the fact that that the ghosts often travel in groups spaced in such a way as to render jumping ineffective, even if Funky and Spunky are not there. Even worse, after the fourth round, Funky usually appears in pairs, and the last few rounds have pairs of Spunkys as well. Since this can add up to as many as nine ghosts on a round, the scoring for eating them is the familiar 200, 400, 800, 1600, followed by 3200, and each ghost after that is worth 7650 points (765 being a Japanese word-play for Namco).
Finally, the bonus objects in the centre of the maze include not only fruits but also additional pellets that cause effects such as making Pac-Man go faster, or doubling the amount of points Pac-Man gets from eating ghosts. There are also assorted edibles such as candy, hamburgers, ice cream cones and Galaxian flagships, all worth more than the fruits.