Ms. Pac-Man © 1982 Midway.
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|Even if the copyright year is 1981, Ms. Pac-Man was released in January 1982.|
Having won their enhancement kit lawsuit against Atari, General Computing went to Bally Midway and showed them an enhancement kit that they were working on for Pac-Man called Crazy Otto. Crazy Otto was a character similar to Pac-Man with the exception that he had legs. GCC was going to bluff Midway into letting them release their enhancement kit by telling them that they won their lawsuit against Atari, and that they just wanted Midway's blessing. Midway suggested that they create a sequel to the original Pac-Man instead of an enhancement kit, and GCC got to work on Ms. Pac-Man. Ms. Pac-Man had two prior names before settling on the one that everyone knows. 'Mrs. Pac-Man' was the original, but some of the women employees at Midway had a problem with that, so it was changed to 'Miss Pac-Man'. When someone pointed out the third intermission, where Pac and Ms. Pac welcome "Jr. Pac-Man" (or Baby Pac-Man) into the fold, they changed it to the final name of 'Ms. Pac-Man'. Midway released "Baby Pac-Man" as a pinball/video hybrid, and General Computing sued the company, claiming they had created the concept of a Pac Family. They won the suit and were awarded royalties from Pac Family merchandise.
The logo for General Computer Corporation is present among the graphics, probably a leftover from the game's days as Crazy Otto.
In its initial run, 110,000 units were produced in the U.S. making it the best selling domestic arcade video game of all time.
The game added a few improvements over the original :
* Non-deterministic artificial intelligence for the ghosts, making it harder for enthusiasts to follow set patterns through levels.
* A variety of different mazes used through the game.
* Bonus items (such as cherries and pretzels) entered the maze and bounced through it, rather than appear in a set location as in the original, making the player go out of his way to attain it.
* Brand new sound effects, including a new 'death' sound and opening theme.
It was also one of the more successful of early arcade games in the female demographic, which has been attributed to 'Ms. Pac-Man' being a girl - although the Ms. Pac-Man sprite was little more than "Pac-Man" with eyelashes, a bow, lipstick and a dimple.
After the 255th level, the maze (including dots) disappears. The game becomes unplayable, since there are no more dots to eat.
Chris Ayra holds the record for this game on 'Regular' settings with 920,310 points on August 16, 1998.
Victor Kunisada holds the record for this game on 'Speed-Up' settings with 922,810 points on June 16, 2001.
Vancouver, Canada (Reuters) - Little 7-year old Al Nagac attained the Guinness World Record for Ms. Pac-Man v.2.97 with a score of 18,976,048. Al was exhausted and dehydrated and asked for several glasses of skim milk after shattering the longtime record of 11,056,736 set by Faith DeRivera, who was onhand to congratulate the victor with a kiss on the cheek.
A Ms. Pac-Man unit appears in the 1983 movie 'WarGames', in the 1983 movie 'Joysticks', in the 1984 movie 'Tightrope' (the cab appears in the background of the bar scene), in the 1990 movie 'The Grifters', in the 1999 movie 'Man In The Moon' and in the 2002 movie 'Van Wilder'.
Milton Bradley (MB) released a board game based on this video game in 1983. Up to 4 players can play. The maze is divided into four colored areas, representing each player; the object of the game is to clear all the dots in your colored area. Only one player at a time controls Ms. Pac-Man; the other players control the ghosts. Once a ghost catches Ms. Pac-Man, the player controlling that ghost takes over control of Ms. Pac-Man.
Michael Jackson used to own this game (Midway upright). It was sold at the official Michael Jackson Auction on April 24th, 2009.
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