MS. PAC-MAN is an arcade video game from the Golden Age . It was
Illinois -based Midway Manufacturing corporation, the
North American publisher of
Pac-Man . Ms.
Pac-Man was released in
North America in January 1982, and is one of the most popular arcade
video games of all time. This popularity led to its adoption as an
official title by
Namco , the creator of Pac-Man, which was released
in the United States in late 1980. Ms
Pac-Man introduced a female
protagonist, new maze designs, and several other improved gameplay
changes over the original Pac-Man. Ms.
Pac-Man became the most
successful American-produced arcade game , selling 115,000 arcade
* 1 Gameplay
* 1.1 Scoring
* 2 History
* 3 Ports
* 4 Reception and legacy
* 5 In fiction
* 6 References
* 7 External links
Screenshot of the game's first round.
The gameplay of Ms.
Pac-Man is very similar to that of the original
Pac-Man. The player earns points by eating pellets and avoiding ghosts
(contact with one causes Ms.
Pac-Man to lose a life). Eating an
energizer (or "power pellet") causes the ghosts to turn blue, allowing
them to be eaten for extra points. Bonus fruits can be eaten for
increasing point values, twice per round. As the rounds increase, the
speed increases, and energizers generally lessen the duration of the
ghosts' vulnerability, eventually stopping altogether.
There are also some differences from the original Pac-Man:
* The game has four different mazes that appear in different color
schemes, and alternate after each of the game's intermissions are
seen. The pink maze appears in levels 1 & 2, the light blue maze
appears in levels 3, 4, a 5000-point banana can be followed by a
100-point pair of cherries.
* The orange ghost is called Sue, rather than Clyde; her color was
later changed to purple in
Pac-Land to differentiate her.
* When Ms.
Pac-Man makes contact with a ghost and dies, she spins
around, or as the back of the flier says, "she dramatically swoons and
falls" rather than folding in on herself like the original Pac-Man
* The three intermissions have changed to follow the developing
relationship between the original
Pac-Man and Ms.
Pac-Man (from when
they first meet to having a stork drop off their baby); the latter
later served as the attract opening sequence for Jr.
* The sound effects and music are very different from those of the
original game, including a new opening theme and death sound effect.
* As with Pac-Man, this game has a bug in the subroutine that draws
the fruit , which renders the 256th round unplayable. However, the
game also has other bugs that cause it to crash or become unplayable
much sooner, making it impossible to reach Round 256 without the use
of emulation .
POINTS AWARDED FOR ITEM
After level 7, any fruit will appear, although its point value will
be the same (unlike in Pac-Man, in which the Key will always be the
fruit after level 13).
Pac-Man was originally conceived as an enhancement kit for
Pac-Man called Crazy Otto, created by programmers employed at the
General Computer Corporation (GCC). While Crazy Otto was under
development, GCC settled a lawsuit with
Atari over their Missile
Command conversion kit Super Missile Attack. Part of the settlement
terms barred GCC from selling future conversion kits without consent
from the original game manufacturer.
Rather than scrapping Crazy Otto entirely, the programmers chose to
present the completed game to Midway,
Namco 's American distributor of
Pac-Man. Midway had become impatient in waiting for
Namco to release
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 and worked with GCC and
Namco to prepare the
game for release. In final development the game's name and characters
experienced multiple changes. Sprites , text, and minor game elements
were altered to better reflect the
Pac-Man series. The game was
initially titled "Super Pac-Man," containing
Pac-Man as the lead
character. Inspired by the cutscenes of Crazy Otto featuring Crazy
Otto's female counterpart, the lead character was made female and the
game was renamed Pac-Woman. That name was dropped for the name Miss
Pac-Man was chosen, but because of the family imagery in the third
intermission, protests were feared about the Pac-couple having a
Pac-baby out of wedlock. The name was changed to Mrs. Pac-Man, and
then finally to Ms. Pac-Man, which rolled off the tongue easier. These
later changes (Miss, Mrs., and Ms.) all occurred within 72 hours of
According to one estimate a majority of
Pac-Man players were women.
Shortly before release, Stan Jarocki of Midway stated that Ms. Pac-Man
was conceived in response to the original
Pac-Man being "the first
commercial videogame to involve large numbers of women as players" and
that it is "our way of thanking all those lady arcaders who have
played and enjoyed Pac-Man." The game was later awarded the
Certificate of Merit as runner-up for Coin-Op
Game of the Year at the
1982 Arcade Awards held in January 1983.
After the game became wildly popular, Midway and GCC undertook a
brief legal battle concerning royalties. The Killer List of Videogames
notes that the game was accomplished without Namco's consent, causing
both companies to eventually turn over the rights to Namco. Ms.
Pac-Man was reportedly the first in a series of unauthorized sequels
that eventually led to the termination of the licensing agreement
Namco and Midway. GCC co-founder Doug Macrae has disputed
stories that the game was manufactured without Namco's blessing,
claiming that then-
Namco president Masaya Nakamura had even provided
feedback over character artwork during the game's development.
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
Namco Museum releases).
Namco released an arcade board featuring both Ms. Pac-Man
Galaga in honor of the 20th anniversary of both games with the
subtitle "20 Year Reunion / Class of 1981 ". 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.
Like many other games of its era, Ms.
Pac-Man has been ported to many
* A Mini-Arcade tabletop version of Ms.
Pac-Man was released in 1983
Coleco . The unit was shaped like a miniature arcade cabinet, was
controlled with a small built-in joystick, and used a multicolor
vacuum fluorescent display . This version of the game was later
awarded the Certificate of Merit as runner-up for Stand-Alone Game of
the Year at the 1983 Arcade Awards held in January 1984.
Atari, Inc. released versions of it for its
Atari 2600 , Atari
Atari 7800 , and
Atari 8-bit computer line . There were also
versions for the
Commodore VIC-20 ,
Commodore 64 ,
ZX Spectrum , IBM
Apple II , and
Texas Instruments TI-99/4A
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.
Atari Corporation also released a
version for the
Atari Lynx , introducing new mazes, a fourth cartoon
(called School Bus), and a power-up that gave the player a temporary
speed boost. In January 1984, the
Atari 2600 port won the Videogame of
the Year award at the 1983 Arcade Awards , tied with Lady Bug .
* 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 which was only available in the original
arcade game from a maintenance menu. 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. The Mega
Drive/Genesis version of the game sold more than one million copies in
the United States.
Namco also ported Ms.
Pac-Man to the NES in 1993. Unlike the
Tengen version, it was a straight port of the arcade game without any
added features, except for 4 extra mazes.
Pac-Man was ported to the
CD-i as part of an Arcade Classics
collection (released in
Europe , but not in
North America ). It had
all of the extra features of Tengen's ports even though neither Tengen
Williams Electronics had made this version.
* 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 the SNES version of
Pac-Man 2: The New Adventures and in
Pac-Man World 2 .
* It was ported to the
Game Boy Color
Game Boy Color with two new mazes and a bonus
* 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 (
Xevious and Pole Position ) are
included in a self-contained joystick hand controller.
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
* As of July 11, 2008, Ms. Pac Man is available for Apple's iPhone
through the App Store , and features all 256 levels. The game was
also released in July for
Windows Mobile Professional .
* As part of
Pac-Man 's 30th anniversary, Ms.
Pac-Man is one of the
games included on the home version of Pac-Man\'s Arcade Party arcade
* In December 2013 it became available for Android .
* It was also included as downloadable content in
Pac-Man Museum for
PlayStation 3 ,
Xbox 360 , free to download until March
31, 2014. It then became a $4.99 paid download afterwards.
RECEPTION AND LEGACY
InfoWorld stated that Atarisoft's Ms.
Pac-Man for the Commodore 64
was as good as the best-selling
Atari 8-bit version. Reviewing the
Game Gear version,
GamePro commented "If you loved the
then you loved Ms. Pac-Man, and if you loved Ms.
Pac-Man at the
arcades, you'll love her here, too."
Electronic Gaming Monthly
Electronic Gaming Monthly reported that the Genesis version
of Ms. Pac-Man, which was released in 1991, was still among the top 20
best-selling Genesis games.
Game Informer put Ms.
Pac-Man 10th on their list of "The Top
200 Games of All Time", saying that it "trumped in nearly every way".
This is down one rank from Game Informer's previous best games of
Entertainment Weekly called Ms.
Pac-Man one of the top
ten games for the
Atari 2600 in 2013. In 2016, Ms.
Pac-Man placed 5th
on Time 's The 50 Best Video Games of All Time list.
During Season 5, Episode 6 (“A Modest Proposal”) of the
television show Weeds , live action gameplay captured from a Ms.
Pac-Man screen forms a segue between scenes. It establishes the
depressive state of main character Andy after lead character Nancy
leaves him a ”Dear John” letter. He uses most of a cash windfall
to purchase extravagances such as an arcade machine for his living
room. Game sounds punctuate the episode’s plot, especially a later
scene where Nancy leaves Andy’s house. Just after her departure, the
game over sound plays, highlighting a turning point in the two
In Season 8, Episode 12 ("The One Where Joey Dates Rachel"), of
Friends , Phoebe gives Monica and Chandler a Ms.
Pac-Man arcade game
as a wedding present.
* ^ US Copyright Filing PA0000140275
* ^ Beamish, Graeme (May 22, 2010). "Pellet-popping power: Pac-Man
turns 30 today". Nanaimo Daily News. Canwest News Service . Retrieved
5 March 2012.
* ^ Donhodges.Com—Ms. Pac-Man\'s Kill Screens Analyzed And Fixed
* ^ Ms.
Pac-Man Videogame by Midway (1981) - The International
Arcade Museum and the KLOV
* ^ Game Developers\' Conference Post-Mortem by original developer
* ^ The Ultimate History of Video Games by Steven L. Kent, pp.
* ^ How to Win Video Games. Pocket Books. 1982. p. 87. ISBN
* ^ Worley, Joyce (May 1982). "Women Join the Arcade Revolution".
Electronic Games . 1 (3): 30–33 . Retrieved 3 February 2012.
* ^ A B C "
Electronic Games Magazine".
Internet Archive . Retrieved
1 February 2012.
* ^ Ms.
Pac-Man Videogame by Midway (1981) - The International
Arcade Museum and the KLOV
* ^ Doug Macrae from GCC speaks at California Extreme 2010
Coleco Ms Pac Man
* ^ Reichert, Matt. "5200 Rumor Mill: Puffer Ms. Pac-Man".
* ^ Cifaldi, Frank. "Retronauts Episode 91: A Tengen Family
Reunion". Frank Cifaldi talks to rebellious NES game developers Franz
Lanzinger (Toobin', Ms. Pac-Man), Steve Woita (Super Sprint, Police
Academy) and Mark Morris (Hard Drivin', 007: License to Kill) about
the old days. 1up.com. Retrieved 2010-09-27.
* ^ Welcome to JAKKS TV Games >> Ms. Pac-Man
* ^ Ms.
Pac-Man Game Detail Page, xbox.com
* ^ Ms. PAC-MAN now available for your iPod
* ^ Mace, Scott (1984-04-09). "Atarisoft vs. Commodore". InfoWorld.
p. 50. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
* ^ "Ms. Pac-Man".
GamePro (58). IDG . May 1994. p. 130.
* ^ "Williams Prepares for a New Era!".
Electronic Gaming Monthly
Electronic Gaming Monthly .
Ziff Davis . August 1996. p. 55.
* ^ "The Top 200 Games of All Time".
Game Informer (200): 44–79.
December 2009. ISSN 1067-6392 .
OCLC 27315596 .
* ^ Cork, Jeff (2009-11-16). "Game Informer\'s Top 100 Games of All
Time (Circa Issue 100)".
Game Informer . Retrieved 2013-12-10.
* ^ Morales, Aaron (January 25, 2013). "The 10 best
Entertainment Weekly . Retrieved April 17, 2016.
* ^ "The 50 Best Video Games of All Time". Time .
Time Inc. August
23, 2016. Archived from the original on August 26, 2016. Retrieved
September 19, 2016.