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Ms. Pac-Man cover

Origins[edit | edit source]

Pac-Man was one of the highest grossing arcade games of all time. It started off as Puck-Man in Japan, then was slightly retitled as Pac-Man when it hit the United States, because Midway was worried that teens would change the name around and replace the "P" with an "F" in the title on the arcade game's marquee. The game, which ended up being ported all over the place back then, is still being done so even in modern days with Xbox Live downloads and all, including clones of all sorts as well. It also enjoyed all kinds of merchandising, including lunch boxes, t-shirts, a tv show, and even a movie that has been delayed for ages (amongst all kinds of other spin-off products).

Then the first (of many) sequel(s) of Ms. Pac-Man was no slouch either, and not just in regards to arcade business either, as it expanded on the Pac-Man formula by having several new mazes with every few levels (as opposed to only the one maze during an entire game of Pac-Man), the bonus prizes, unlike being stationary on the original Pac-Man, would now bounce around the maze, and of course the Pac character was female this time around.

The Sega Genesis port of the game was released in 1991 through Tengen.

Gameplay[edit | edit source]

The object of the game is to eat all the dots in a maze in order to advance to the next level. Four ghosts, once they leave their ghost box in the center of the screen, will start pursuing Ms. Pac-Man; if one of them catches her, the player will lose a life, and the game will end when there are no lives left in reserve.

There are at least four energizers in a level (depending on what variation a player chooses) where Ms. Pac-Man will be able to turn the tables on her pursuers and be able to eat them for a brief time. She can also escape the ghosts by going through one of the tunnels in a maze and reappear at the other side of the screen, which will slow down her pursuers. Bonus prizes, also worth big points if eaten, also come out of a tunnel and can bounce around the maze up to two times during each level.

Scoring[edit | edit source]

  • Dot--10 points
  • Energizer--50 points
  • Eating ghost–200, 400, 800, and 1600 points in succession
  • Prizes–varies
  • Extra lives–10,000 on Arcade version, along with extras at 50,000, 100,000, and 300,000 if the Mini, Big, or Strange mazes are selected

Variances[edit | edit source]

  • The game has several settings, being Normal, Easy, Hard and Crazy
  • Pac Booster–gives speed to Pac-Man and/or Ms.Pac-Man
  • Maze selections
    • Arcade–the four mazes from the arcade game are in this selection
    • Mini–smaller mazes where the player(s) won’t have to scroll around as much in order to view them
    • Big–large mazes where the entire maze won’t appear on the screen at one time
    • Strange–oddly-shaped mazes
  • One or two players–there are a few variances with these choices:
    • Two player alternating–one player is Ms. Pac-Man, the other is Pac-Man. Players will alternate turns once one player dies
    • Two players competitive–two players are onscreen at the same time, but when one eats an energizer, the other player will be frozen, not being able to move, nor eat dots or ghosts
    • Two players cooperative–two players are onscreen at the same time; neither is penalized when an energizer is eaten

Fun facts[edit | edit source]

  • As Williams' Arcade's Greatest Hits proved, near-exact translations of arcade hits from several years before is possible on the Genesis. The Arcade version of Ms. Pac-Man isn’t an exact translation though, as there is a kill screen on the arcade original after over 200 levels; here, with no matter what mode is chosen, the game will always end after the 36th level.
  • There are additional prizes that are not on the arcade original, such as what appears to be a hand in the later levels, which these prizes can be worth over 10,000 points. Also, one level in the Big mazes only has two energizers, while others have as many as six.
  • Many of the mazes are so big that a player will have to pause the game, then move their joystick or D-pad up and down in order to view the entire maze.
  • There are several continuances after a game ends, as long as a player makes it to at least the 10th screen.
  • The game will always end if the player completes the 36th level, which an additional intermission will play, showing Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man waiving, then heading offscreen, leading to a static end screen with them on a beach with their many offspring.

Links[edit | edit source]

Stage Select review of the game (10/10)

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