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Pac-Man Arrangement (パックマンアレンジメント Pakkuman Arenjimento) is an arcade game released in 1996 by Namco, included as part of Namco Classic Collection Volume 2.

Gameplay

Like the original Pac-Man, Pac-Man Arrangement is a maze game in which the objective is to clear all Pac-Dots on the board by eating them and avoiding hazardous contact with the ghosts that also inhabit the maze.

Fundamental Differences

  • There has been a graphical and musical overhaul; all of the characters and items have 3D-esque sprites, and each stage features full-fledged background music.
  • There is a fifth ghost, Kinky, who has unique properties from the other ghosts.
  • Two players can play at the same time. The second player is represented by a green Pac-Man, and each player is given an individual score that adds up to the total score.
  • Blinky starts the round moving slightly faster than Pinky, Inky, and Clyde.
  • Similarly to Pac-Mania, Blinky's more aggressive state is given a visual indication; his eyes become angry and he raises his arms.
    • Blinky's faster state is triggered by the length of time the player has been on the stage rather than the number of Pac-Dots remaining.
    • All ghosts will take on this "angry", faster state (with their original behavior still intact) if Pac-Man stays on the round without dying long enough. If Pac-Man loses a life, the status is removed from Pinky, Inky, and Clyde temporarily.
  • When Pac-Man loses a life, action is continuous, rather than objects being reset to their original positions.
  • There are various power-ups the player can obtain which spawn at Pac-Man's starting position under certain conditions. When Pac-Man eats a Power Pellet, or Kinky, the power-up that appears depends on the sequence of ghosts Pac-Man had eaten (more details below). This only applies for the first two vulnerability periods.
  • There are a couple of new gimmicks the player can use which can assist in maneuvering Pac-Man through the maze.
  • There is a new maze every round. Furthermore, there is a new "world" after the first two rounds and every four rounds following that.
  • It is possible to continue from the same round once a player loses all of their lives; however, score and lives will be reset.
  • The game has a legitimate final stage in the form of Round 23, which pits the player(s) against a boss fight with the ghosts.
  • A bonus life is awarded at 40,000 points rather than 10,000 (by default–the DIP switch settings for this are one bonus at just 40,000 points, one bonus each at 40,000 and 100,000 points, or disabling the bonus altogether).
    • Furthermore, the base amount of lives (three still being the default) can be tweaked to any number including and between two and six. The original Pac-Man only had options for one, two, three, and five lives.

Ghosts

The four original ghosts maintain their usual behavior and are largely unchanged from their original counterparts - until the gold-colored ghost, Kinky, comes into play. When Kinky is onscreen, a siren sound effect similar to the original Pac-Man plays alongside the background music. Kinky moves at a high speed when compared to the other ghosts, but is always vulnerable when Pac-Man is on the stage and acts like a Power Pellet when eaten, scaring the other ghosts into a vulnerable state. Kinky's only offensive option lies with his ability to merge with the classic quartet.

When Kinky spawns in the Ghost Home (about three seconds after Clyde leaves it), one of the ghosts is significantly slowed down; this is the ghost Kinky intends to combine with. As with the other four ghosts though, Pac-Man can eat a power pellet to slow Kinky down momentarily and make him move randomly (though a combination will still occur if Kinky happens to run into his target ghost). From World 4 onwards, Kinky will move drastically faster.

The transformations work as such:

  • Kinky gives Blinky a bull-like form that can charge through horizontal hallways;
  • Kinky gives Pinky a rabbit-like form that can leap to any point in the maze;
  • Kinky gives Inky the ability to create a duplicate ghost that mirrors his actions (given that the ghosts are in "chase" mode);*
  • Kinky gives Clyde the ability to replace previously cleared areas of the maze with large Pac-Dots.

(*Note: the ports of the game cause Inky to only trigger his special ability when in "scatter" mode instead.)

When Kinky combines with a ghost, he laughs briefly, and the transformed ghost becomes bigger and moves slightly faster. Depending on the stage, Kinky can appear multiple times after being eaten or merging with enough ghosts. After he appears a certain number of times, he will stop respawning.

The default ghost names in Puckman were carried over into the Japanese version of Pac-Man Arrangement, but the international version uses a mix of the Puckman English descriptive names and the Pac-Man aliases. These names were also used in the version of the original Pac-Man included with Namco Classic Collection Vol. 2.

Color Japanese International
Character Nickname Character Nickname
Red Oikake Akabei Urchin Clyde*
Pink Machibuse Pinky Romp Pinky
Cyan Kimagure Aosuke Stylist Inky
Orange Otoboke Guzuta Crybaby Blinky*
Gold Hinekure Kinzo ????? Kinky

(*See Clyde and Blinky error.)

Items and Gimmicks

As aforementioned, there are several new items and gimmicks among the standard in Pac-Man Arrangement.

  • Pac-Dot – the most common and simple item; the standard ones are worth 10 points each, and Pac-Man must eat all of them in order to clear a round. Starting in Round 3, however, larger Pac-Dots may appear, either as a brief "wave" over normal-sized Pac-Dots or as a standard type in the maze. Though these larger dots can be worth up to 50 points, they slow Pac-Man down significantly.
  • Power Pellet – worth 50 points; these weaken the ghosts into a slower, vulnerable state, enabling Pac-Man to eat them. The point bonuses for eating a ghost now extend a bit beyond 1600 points–eating Kinky during a Power Pellet's vulnerability effect will temporarily extend the duration of the initial Power Pellet, allowing the player to score 3200 points for the 5th ghost eaten and 7650 points for any ghost eaten after that. Eating a ghost that had merged with Kinky will double the point bonus the player would have gotten and bump them up to the next point bonus. Power Pellets will also instantly remove Inky's duplicate from the maze.
  • Red Capsule – worth 1000 points; this will spawn at Pac-Man's starting position if Blinky was the fourth ghost eaten during Power Pellet vulnerability in Worlds 0-2, or the second ghost eaten in worlds 3-5. Eating it enables Pac-Man to move at about twice his original speed for about ten seconds, also ignoring the slowdown eating large Pac-Dots would have. It is similar to the Super Pellet's effect in Pac-Mania.
  • Pink Capsule – worth 1000 points; this will spawn at Pac-Man's starting position if Pinky was the fourth ghost eaten during Power Pellet vulnerability in Worlds 0-2, or the second ghost eaten in worlds 3-5. Eating it will pull all of the ghosts to a brown pot in the Ghost Home for about four seconds.
  • Cyan Capsule – worth 1000 points; this will spawn at Pac-Man's starting position if Inky was the fourth ghost eaten during Power Pellet vulnerability in Worlds 0-2, or the second ghost eaten in worlds 3-5. Eating it is similar to Inky's special ability; Pac-Man gains a duplicate that mirrors his actions. This faux Pac-Man has all of the same properties the standard one has, but is also invulnerable and even becomes the new "target" the ghosts refer to for their A.I. instead of the "real" Pac-Man. It lasts for about 10 seconds. Interestingly, Pinky still targets the original Pac-Man when using her special ability, but will move toward the duplicate when she lands.
  • Orange Capsule – worth 1000 points; this will spawn at Pac-Man's starting position if Clyde was the fourth ghost eaten during Power Pellet vulnerability in Worlds 0-2, or the second ghost eaten in worlds 3-5. Eating it will cause Pac-Man to ignore the deceleration given by larger Pac-Dots. This lasts as long as the player doesn't lose a life or obtain another special ability.
  • Gold Capsule – worth 100 points; this will spawn at Pac-Man's starting position if Kinky was the fourth ghost eaten during Power Pellet vulnerability in Worlds 0-2, or the second ghost eaten in worlds 3-5. The laugh sound effect when Kinky combines with another ghost occurs, but it has no other gameplay effect aside from the point bonus.
  • Magic Wand – worth 1000 points; this item has a chance of spawning if Kinky was used to trigger ghost vulnerability. It changes all of the ghosts on-screen into harmless presents and makes them worth 1000 points each. It will last either for about 10 seconds, or until the player eats all of the presents. It will also stop ghosts from regenerating until its effect ends.
  • Brown Pot – worth 1000 points; this is an item that has a chance of spawning if Kinky was used to trigger ghost vulnerability. It has the same effect as the Pink Capsule.
  • 1-UP – worth 1000 points; this item has a chance of spawning if Kinky was used to trigger ghost vulnerability, though it is extremely rare. It grants Pac-Man an extra life regardless of the player's accumulated points.
  • Dash Arrow – a gimmick introduced in the second round. Running over it in the direction the chevrons face will cause Pac-Man to charge in that direction with limited control, stunning ghosts in his path for a brief moment. This dash will overpower Blinky's special ability, and it will also neutralize Inky's duplicate if Pac-Man collides with it. Once the effect wears off, Pac-Man will gain momentary invulnerability. Pac-Man can only use them once, but the ghosts are entirely unable to use them.
  • Stairs – an obstacle introduced in the fifth round. They are brief slopes in the maze layout that cause Pac-Man to not be able to change direction until he leaves a set.
  • Jump Panel – a gimmick introduced in the sixth round. They come in pairs in up to four colors-red, pink, blue, and orange-and running over one will cause Pac-Man to bounce to another Jump Panel of the same color, with momentary invulnerability upon landing. The ghosts can also use these, but experience much more landing time than Pac-Man. Jump Panels are required to clear the penultimate round.

Home Ports

  • Game Boy Advance
  • GameCube
  • PlayStation 2
  • Wii U
  • Xbox

The Game Boy Advance version lacks the two-player mode, as does the identical Wii U port. The other games included in Namco Classic Collection Volume 2 have been ported to consoles as well, with the exception of Rally-X Arrangement, which remains arcade-exclusive.

Trivia

  • This was the first (and, so far, only) game to include ghost "character" names since the original Pac-Man, aside from ports of the first game. It would also be the first time international audiences would see the original set of "alternate" character names as those names were dummied out otherwise.
  • On the introduction screen, the ghosts rotate in unique ways:
    • Blinky and Pinky rotate counterclockwise at the same speed.
    • Inky rotates at the same speed as Blinky and Pinky, but will switch between rotating counterclockwise and clockwise halfway into either rotation.
    • Clyde rotates counterclockwise, but slower than any of the other ghosts.
    • Kinky rotates at the same speed as Blinky, Pinky, and Inky, but clockwise instead of counterclockwise.
  • If Pac-Man dies while Kinky is onscreen, Kinky will appear gold until Pac-Man respawns.
  • In the arcade version of the game, Inky's duplicate has a unique animation for vanishing. This is not used in either of the ports.
  • As aforementioned, in the ports, Inky will only activate his special ability when in scatter mode. This seems to be an error; if all of the scatter cycles are exhausted and Inky is transformed but his ability isn't active, he will continue attempting to trigger it by repeatedly moving to the center of the maze. Whether this was intentional or not is unknown, but incidentally this was the second time Inky's behavior was changed from an original game resulting in it being somewhat easier to predict (the first being for the Namco Museum Volume 1 port of Pac-Man).
  • The first and second worlds the player encounters are thematically similar to those in Pac-Mania; the first world takes place in a colorful blocky area, and the second world takes place in an area based on the original Pac-Man maze.
  • Several gimmicks and items used in this game would be repurposed for use in the Pac-Man World 3 maze games.

Gallery

Screenshots

Artwork

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