Ms. Pac-Man (ミズパックマン Mizu Pakkuman) is the second game in the Pac-Man series, released in 1982 by Bally Midway.
The goal of the game is to have Ms. Pac-Man eat all of the on-screen dots and avoid the attacks of the four ghosts. The gameplay follows the same premise as Pac-Man, although there are some key differences:
- The game has four different colorful mazes that alternate. The orange maze appears in levels 1 and 2, the light blue maze appears in levels 3, 4, and 5, the brown maze appears in levels 6 through 9, and the dark blue maze appears in levels 10 through 13. Starting with level 14, the last two maze configurations alternate between each other every 4th level.
- The Fruits are now cherries, strawberries, oranges, pretzels, apples, pears, and bananas, respectively. After the banana appears, the fruit prizes are chosen at random.
- The fruit bounces around the screen instead of remaining stationary below the ghost pen, starting from one of the tunnel entrances and leaving through another if not eaten.
- The intermissions have been changed to "Acts". The first one shows how Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man first meet, the second shows the two chasing each other around the screen, and the third shows Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man awaiting the arrival of Junior.
- The orange ghost (originally named "Clyde") is now named "Sue".
- The ghosts do not move in "scatter" and "chase" cycles as they did in the original game; Blinky and Pinky will move randomly and Inky and Sue will head for their "scatter" corners only during first behavior mode of a round. From there, while they will change direction occasionally, they will remain in constant attack.
- There are no longer any paths that the ghosts cannot travel through.
- Tunnels do not slow the ghosts down after Round 3.
- Pac-Dot - 10 points.
- Power Pellet - 50 points.
- Vulnerable Ghosts:
- #1 in succession - 200 points.
- #2 in succession - 400 points.
- #3 in succession - 800 points.
- #4 in succession - 1600 points.
Originally, Ms. Pac-Man started as an unauthorized hack of Pac-Man called Crazy Otto by General Computer Corporation, featuring a Pac-Man-like character with a blue eye and legs. To avoid another lawsuit with Atari (which they had previously received for creating a Missile Command hack), G.C.C. presented the game to Bally Midway for approval of release. Midway, impatient for Namco to release the then-upcoming Super Pac-Man, purchased Crazy Otto for their own release. Midway then changed a quantity of details from Crazy Otto, and renamed it Ms. Pac-Man.
As Ms. Pac-Man/Crazy Otto was developed and published without Namco's permission, Bally Midway was later forced to turn the rights over to Namco. Ms. Pac-Man was never released in any arcade form in Japan, and would not receive a Japanese home console release until 1994's Pac-Man 2: The New Adventures. There it was merely an unlockable bonus however; the first "true" release was in 1996's Namco Museum Vol. 3.
- Apple II
- Atari 400/800/XL/XE
- Atari 2600
- Atari 5200
- Atari 7800
- Atari Lynx
- Commodore 64
- Commodore VIC-20
- Game Boy
- Game Boy Color
- Game Boy Advance
- Game Gear
- Handheld LCD Games
- IBM PC
- iOS (iPhone, iPad, etc.)
- iPod Classic
- Nintendo 64
- Phillips CD-i
- PlayStation 2
- PlayStation 3
- PlayStation 4
- PlayStation Portable
- Plug 'N Play TV Games
- Pocket Player (My Arcade)
- Sega Master System
- Sega Genesis
- Sega Dreamcast
- Super Famicom/SNES
- Tabletop Arcade Machines
- Wii U
- Windows PC
- Xbox 360
- Xbox One
- ZX Spectrum
Homebrew versions of Ms. Pac-Man have also been released for the ColecoVision and Intellivision.
There are many variations of Ms. Pac-Man that are fundamentally the same as the original game, but feature several differences that make them stand out. These games include:
Namco Museum port
Similarly to Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man also saw a Namco Museum port in 1996. This version, like Pac-Man, used the source code from the original game and was perhaps the most frequently ported version for quite some time. Some things about it were changed however, and this version sees all of the applicable changes Pac-Man had, plus:
- Blinky and Pinky do not move randomly during the first behavior mode; they head to their original "scatter" corners as they did in Pac-Man.
- Furthermore, the "scatter" and "chase" cycles are restored in the game.
- The tunnel slowdown effect does not occur until a ghost reaches middle of the tunnel (in the original game, they are slowed down at the entrance).
- The tunnel slowdown occurs in all rounds.
- Most of the sound samples have their pitch raised.
- The background sound effect does not change as the player gets closer to finishing the maze.
These versions of Ms. Pac-Man are either listed in the public domain or are considered abandonware. Clicking the game title will lead you to a playable online version of it from archive.org (mobile compatibility may vary).
- Recommended: Super ABC (Pac-Man multigame kit) (Arcade, 1999)
- Recommended: Ms. Pac PC (MS-DOS, 1995)
- Recommended: Champ Ms. Pac-em (MS-DOS, 1996)
- Ms. Chomp (Windows 3.1, 1992)
- Ms. Pac-Man (Atari 400/800/XL/XE, 1983)
- Ms. Pac-Man (Coleco) (Tabletop Arcade Machine, 1983)
- Ms. Pac-Man (Game Gear, 1993)
- Ms. Pac-Man (IBM PC, 1983)
- Ms. Pac-Man (Sega Master System, 1990)
- Starting in 2006 after a court case, General Computer Corporation began to receive expensive royalties from Namco for most Ms. Pac-Man re-releases, including arcade machines and home console/mobile ports. This has led to (Bandai) Namco practically abandoning using the Ms. Pac-Man game altogether. However, some re-releases occur through the following loopholes:
- Releasing an arcade machine with no coin slot/set to Free Play
- Releasing the game as downloadable content
- Using a proprietary format classified as a "toy"
- This is the first Pac-Man game not to be developed by Namco.
- There is a glitch where if a coin is inserted directly as the machine is turned on, the maze will be dark blue instead of orange. This will reset if Ms. Pac-Man loses a life.
- In the game's prototype stages, Ms. Pac-Man had long brown hair and a yellow bow, which was eventually changed to the iconic red bow with only a tiny tuft of hair. This seems to have been a last-minute change, as it carried over into the cartoon series.
- The GameCube version of Pac-Man World 2 includes Ms. Pac-Man as a bonus game; however, this version features an odd bug, where the mazes all use the same color scheme as each other. This does not apply to the PlayStation 2 and Xbox versions of the game.
- Blinky and Pinky moving randomly at the start of each round is achieved by them being programmed to randomly target each of the original four "scatter" corners of the maze.
- The SNES version of Pac-Man 2: The New Adventures feature Ms. Pac-Man as an unlockable game; however, the Genesis version features Pac-Jr., a modified version of the game with Jr. Pac-Man as the main character. This was because a single-cartridge release of Ms. Pac-Man was already on the Genesis, and they did not want the unlockable version hurting sales.
Machine and Box Art
- From Ms. Pac-Man to Crazy Otto - for information on the many prototype versions of the game
Pac-Man • Ms. Pac-Man • Pac-Man Plus • Super Pac-Man • Baby Pac-Man • Pac & Pal • Jr. Pac-Man • Pac-Mania • Arrangement (1996) • Pac-Man VR • Maze Madness • Adventures in Time • Quest for the Golden Maze • Pac-Man Vs. • Arrangement (2005) • Championship Edition • Championship Edition DX • Battle Royale • Pac-Man 256 • Championship Edition 2
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