Ms. Pac-Man: history, rules, tips and legacy

Ms. Pac-Man was created based on the original game of Pac-Man in 1982 by Midway Manufacturing Corporation holding the license on it. This advanced game is considered one of the most successful arcade releases. In America it became a money-making venture with 115 thousand arcade machines sold by excited gamblers.

History of creation

Ms. Pac-Man came into being as an improvement part for basic Pac-Man (bearing the name Crazy Otto) but due to rights issues it began its existence under the name Ms. Pac-Man. The thing is its distributor Midway was looking forward to a new version of a famous arcade game so it bought the authority to use Crazy Otto and changed graphic to fit with the format of classical Pac-Man.

Later on the spokesman of Midway said the introduction of a new Pac-Man was a backlash of the first version mainly aimed at men. In Ms. Pac-Man women came into play and it was “a thank-you for all female fans”.

The name of the later alternative of the game was not meant to be Ms. Pac-Man from the start. It could be Pac-Woman, Miss or Mrs. as well. When Ms. Pac-Man gained popularity, Namco (the company owning the license on its creation) told neither Midway nor the developer (GCC) obtained its agreement to spread this game. Remarkably, although this new arcade play is listed in the 3rd Namco museum compilation, no archives are stored relating to it.

How to play

Rules of playing it are practically similar to those applied in Pac-Man. One is supposed to eat pellets to earn scores. It’s crucial to avoid ghosts (otherwise the player loses her life). If the player eats a power pellet, ghosts change their color to blue and more scores are added for eating them. Two times per round the player can also consume bonus fruits to get more points. As the gambler proceeds to higher rounds, it’s getting harder to avoid ghosts because power pellets almost don’t work. Also, the speed gets higher.

The main new features:

  • 4 mazes coming in different color solutions, each reappearing after the pause;
  • mazes 1, 2 and 4 have deformation tunnels;
  • the paths are marked up for new players to guess how to move easier;
  • the ghosts may move differently than expected to diversify the behavior pattern;
  • fruits show up randomly throughout the maze rather than in the middle as before;
  • when Ms. Pac-Man runs at the ghost and loses her life, she orbits instead of folding in on herself;
  • sounds and special effects are very different, especially signals of dying;
  • bugs are encountered which cause crash and impossibility to continue the game.

Tips and strains

There are tricks on each maze. When on the 1st maze, watch out while going through the long top road. You will most probably succeed if all ghosts are painted blue or minimum 3 of them take the bottom middle of the maze.

On the 2nd maze paths above and behind the T-section are tricky. Eat one of two energizers or check if 4 ghosts are close to your back to pass these paths easily.

Maze 3 presents danger in the middle of the bottom passage so clear it as soon as possible. Beware of ghosts’ activity on top as well.

Maze 4 causes danger right where you start and near the ghost’s lair.

Response and legacy

Ms. Pac-Man for such personal computers as Commodore 64 and Atari 8-bit ones was equally good. In 2009 this game appeared on the 10th position in the list of “The Top 200 Games of all times” compiled by Game Informer. It was made clear that this new Ms. Pac-Man solution won over its predecessor by almost all criteria.