Pac-Man Plus

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Pac-Man Plus
Pac-man plus flyer.png
North American arcade flyer (1982)
Developer(s) Bally Midway
Publisher(s) Bally Midway
Series Pac-Man
Platform(s) Arcade
Release March 13, 1982
Genre(s) Maze
Mode(s) Up to 2 players, alternating turns
Cabinet Standard upright
Arcade system Namco Pac-Man
CPU 1x ZiLOG Z80 @ 3.072 MHz
Sound 1x Namco WSG (3-channel mono) @ 3.072 MHz
Display Vertical orientation, Raster, 224 x 288 resolution

Pac-Man Plus is an arcade game that was released by Bally Midway on March 13, 1982, and it is the third title in the Pac-Man series of games.

Gameplay[edit]

The gameplay in Pac-Man Plus is nearly identical to that of the original Pac-Man. The player controls Pac-Man, and attempts to score as many points as possible by eating all the Pac-Dots in the maze, while avoiding the four ghosts that chase him around the maze and will kill him if they catch him. Eating a Power Pellet will cause the ghosts to turn blue and become vulnerable for a short period of time, allowing Pac-Man to eat them for extra points. Once the maze has been cleared, it will be refilled as the gameplay continues.

The most noticeable differences between the original game and Plus are various tweaks to the graphics: the maze is green instead of blue, vulnerable ghosts are shortened and have a leaf sticking out of them, the fruits have been replaced by new items (including a can of Coca-Cola) and the ghosts are now slightly cross-eyed. In addition to these cosmetic changes, Plus also changes the gameplay slightly: eating a bonus item will cause the ghosts to turn both vulnerable and invisible, and doubles their point value while they are vulnerable. Eating a Power Pellet also sometimes has unpredictable results, such as turning the maze invisible or turning only three of the four ghosts blue (the latter of which makes it impossible to clear a round by using a pattern). The ghosts are also faster and more aggressive than they were in the original Pac-Man, which makes the game seem overall faster-paced and more difficult by comparison.

Development[edit]

Midway advertised the game as "the only legal PAC-MAN conversion package"[1] and called it "Exciting!" and "New!".[2] Pac-Man Plus was an upgrade kit for pac man boards. It consisted of a module which connected via a ribbon cable to the socket originally occupied by the Z-80 microprocessor. The module contained its own Z-80 microprocessor as well as additional components. It was potted with epoxy to prevent easy reverse-engineering. Additionally, the kit also replaced the 4 Pac-Man program roms on the main game board with new code. Two other roms containing updated data for drawing character and maze were also exchanged. Finally, two relatively tiny supplementary roms containing new color data completed the modification.

Ports[edit]

Because there were not many differences between the original Pac-Man and Pac-Man Plus, and because the title was released right before the Video Game Crash of 1983, there were no home releases of the game around the time it was released; it is only in recent times that it has had ports. These include a mobile phone version,[3] and ports included in several TV Games from Jakks Pacific and from Bandai.[4]

In addition, there have been efforts by some homebrew game developers to port Pac-Man Plus to classic game consoles, such as the Colecovision Pac-Man collection by Opcode Games (press 7587 on the #2 controller at the main menu screen when seeing PLUS press the fire button), Atari 2600,[5] and more recently the Atari 5200 [6] and even the 7800.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Quoted from the official flyer
  2. ^ Emdkay.net
  3. ^ Namcogames.com
  4. ^ JAKKS Pacific, Inc. press release
  5. ^ Atari 2600 Hacks from AtariAge.
  6. ^ 5200: Pac-Man Plus Version .1 from AtariAge
  7. ^ 7800: Pac-Man Plus from AtariAge

External links[edit]