Posted June 20, 2005

Pac-Man's 25th Birthday

A time to Remember Pac-Man and Perfect Pac-man
Billy Mitchell!

The Story of Pac-man's 25th Anniversary and Billy Mitchell, the first player who beat the game without missing a dot!

Billy Mitchell makes the perfect high-score game on
July 3, 1999

A day to remember Billy Mitchell's, Perfect Pacman's, favorite 1980 video game, Pac-Man

The story of Pac-Man and Billy Mitchell, Perfect Pacman.
Billy Mitchell, Perfect Pacman, July 3, 1999, High Score: 3,333,360 Sporting a Blue Polo Shirt from: North American Amusement Auctions Complete pacman theory: link

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The Press Enterprise Breaking News: Press Enterprise - Riverside, California June 20, 2005 circulation of 190,000, Section: Showtime, C13, Monday June 20, 2005
Pac-Man video game turns 25 19:54 AEST Fri Jun 17 2005 Link

Pac-Age of the 1980's Remembered Pac-age For a video game, Pac-Man is getting downright old. The ghost-wary hero with an insatiable appetite for dots turns 25 this month. Pac Man has made more than $100 million dollars one quarter at a time. From the early 1980s "Pac-Mania" to today's endless sequels and rip-offs, the original master of maze management remains a bright yellow circle on the cultural radar. June 20, 2005 By MATT SLAGLE, Associated Press / The Press-Enterprise Pac-age At 25, the yellow circle that eats dots remains popular PRESS ENTERPRISE REPRINT FROM ASSOCIATED PRESS- 10:22 PM PDT on Sunday, June 19, 2005 By MATT SLAGLE / The Associated Press Online Link For a video game, Pac-Man is getting downright old. The ghost-wary hero with an insatiable appetite for dots turns 25 this month. From the early 1980s "Pac-Mania" to today's endless sequels and rip-offs, the original master of maze management remains a bright yellow circle on the cultural radar. Pac-Man lunch boxes from 1980 and 1982 Pop Cultural pac-man trading cards, lunch boxes, board games and breakfast cereals have been the inspiration of pacman even with a Top 40 hit (Buckner & Garcia's "Pac Man Fever" hit number 9 on Billboard's charts in 1982). But there was more to Pac-Man's broad appeal than eating dots and dodging on-screen archrivals Blinky, Pinky, Inky and Clyde. "This was the first time a player took on a persona in the game. Instead of controlling inanimate objects like tanks, paddles and missile bases, players now controlled a 'living' creature," says Leonard Herman, author of "Phoenix: The Rise and Fall of Videogames." "It was something that people could identify, like a hero." It all began in Japan, when Toru Iwatani, a young designer at Namco, who also created Galaxian, caught inspiration from a pizza that was missing a slice. Puck-Man, as it was first called, was born. Because of obvious similarities to a certain four-letter profanity, "Puck" became "Pac" when it debuted in the United States in 1980. Those in the know call Pac-Man, "PC", an unending franchise. Its success spawned a romantic interest (Ms. Pac-Man), a child (Junior Pac-Man), a cartoon show and hundreds of licensed products. The phenomenon even reached the pop music charts when "Pac-Man Fever" by Buckner & Garcia drove everyone crazy in 1982. Billy Mitchell is the (first) person known to play a perfect game of Pac-Man. Game experts call it a 1-in-10 billion phenomenon. Billy Mitchell, the only person known to play a perfect game of Pac-Man (he racked up a score of 3,333,360 after clearing all 256 levels in about six hours in 1999, according to video game record keepers Twin Galaxies) says Pac's popularity was in its simplicity. After six hours of playing to level 256 the game stops at the kill screen: The pac-man Scrambled Split Screen at level 256 has never been passed. There are 244 dots on each level -- and if you're lucky enough to get beyond the 22nd level, the ghosts no longer turn blue if you eat a power pellet. It took a team of eight people 15 months to make the game. "The fact that it's cute, it's almost like a hero running around the board from bad guys. It's not an appeal based on violence," the 39-year-old from Hollywood, Fla., said. "Whether it was an 80-year-old lady or a kid, everyone could adapt to the Pac-Man world." Billions of quarters later, Pac-Man's influence continues. As part of a final project for a class in New York University's Interactive Telecommunications graduate program last year, students with cell phones and Wi-Fi Internet connections mimicked the game, tracking their movements on a grid spanning several city blocks. They called this analog re-enactment, where four people dressed as ghosts searched for Pac-Man on the streets around New York's Washington Square Park, Pac-Manhattan. "We never had anyone clear the entire board," said Frank Lantz, a game designer who taught the course. Namco, which can't offer an exact date for Pac-Man's birth, sold 293,822 of the arcade machines between 1980 and '87. It shows no signs of giving up on the franchise. The company has several new games this year, including "Pac-Mania 3D," "Pac-Man World 3," Pac-Pix" and "Pac-Man Pinball." It even began making a special 25th anniversary edition of the old arcade machine. "People say, 'Who buys Pac-Man?' It's one of the few games where the answer is, 'Everyone,' " said Scott Rubin, general manager of Namco America. Herman said Pac-Man's place in video game history is forever secure. "It was a milestone of video game history." Twin Galaxies Scoreboard
Pac-Man Four Way Pac-Man Tie Deemed by Twin Galaxies: Link Billy Mitchell 1 100.00 % 3,333,360 Billy L Mitchell aka perfect_pacman Video, July 3, 1999, From: Fort Lauderdale, FL, Video Billy Mitchell, July 3, 1999 Billy Mitchell - Player of the Century Perfect Pacman Rick Fothergil 1 100.00 % 3,333,360 Rick D Fothergill aka captain canada July 31, 1999, From: Toronto, Canada, Video Rick Fothergil Rick Fothergil - Perfect Pacman Chris Ayra 1 100.00 % 3,333,360 Chris Ayra February 16, 2000, aka perfect pacman, From: Miami, FL. United States, Video Chris Ayra Chris Ayra - Perfect Pacman Tim Balderramos Tim Balderramos - Perfect Pacman Tim Balderramos 1 100.00 % 3,333,360 Tim Balderramos August 8, 2004 From: West Saint Paul, MN. Referee Billy Mitchell Statistics: First to get Perfect Pacman, July 3, 1999, missing no dots and getting to the split screen and final level 256 in six hours. Billy Mitchell in a First Place Tie with Rick Fothergill, Chris Ayra and Tim Balderramos. Score 3,333,360 Player Billy Mitchell Fort Lauderdale, FL United States Date Achieved Saturday, July 03, 1999 United States Pac-Man Team US National Video Game Seal of Approval Billy Mitchell was a founding member of Twin Galaxies' US National Video Game Team in 1983 and appeared in the 1984 Guinness Book of World Records with five world record listings: Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man, Burgertime, Centipede, Donkey Kong and Donkey Kong, Jr.
Pac-Man Pacman Upright Coin Operated Video Game, 1980 Pac-Man Manufacturer: Midway Year: 1980 Class: Wide Release Genre: Labyrinth/Maze Type: Videogame Description A yellow, pie-shaped character named Pac-Man runs along inside a maze, eating dots as it avoids four ghosts. Each ghost has its own unique personality and gobbling one of the four super dots makes Pac-Man invincible to the ghosts for a given period of time. Each maze has its own unique bonus fruit or object with bonus points increasing as the game progresses. Cabinet Information These cabinets will sometimes be "speckled" with pink or blue paint on top of the yellow coat. Also because of its high popularity, most cabinets tend to have wear marks where players would rest the hand they were not using to control the game. The plastic edging on the cabinets was originally orange. The sides show Pac-Man trying to run away from a ghost with his mouth wide open. The kick-panel displays the same artwork. Cheats, Tricks and Bugs It is possible to follow a pattern on each maze that will always clear the screen without being caught by the ghosts. It is possible to hide forever in one place on the screen. Here is how: where Pac-Man starts there is a "T"-like wall above him. If you go up to the right-most part of the "T" from the bottom without any ghosts seeing you go in, they will never enter that spot. Also, do not move; stay still, facing up. Conversion This can be converted to Pac-Man Plus, Ms. Pac-Man, or Jr. Pac-Man by switching the marquee, control panel overlay, monitor bezel, kick-panel art (if necessary), and PCB. Game Introduction The four ghosts, which your character must avoid, each have a different color, name, nickname and personality. The pink ghost is Speedy, nicknamed "Pinky"; he's fast. The red ghost is Shadow, nicknamed "Blinky"; he's always behind you and it's hard to shake him. The light blue ghost is Bashful, nicknamed "Inky"; he's terribly shy and will actually run away from you. And the orange ghost is Pokey, nicknamed "Clyde"; he will try his best to get you, but he is slow. Game Play Pac-Man must clear the maze of all 240 dots and all four energizers to proceed to the next level of difficulty. As Pac-Man eats the dots, the ghosts chase him around the maze and if Pac-Man collides with one of the ghosts, he is a goner. He can eat one of the energizers to turn the ghosts dark blue, which make them edible for him. But after Pac-Man has eaten any of the ghosts, their eyes will return to the pen in the middle of the maze where they will each regenerate into their former selves and return to chase him again. Occasionally, a bonus fruit or prize will temporarily appear in the middle of the maze below the ghosts' pen. Pac-Man can eat those bonus items to receive extra points. Also, there is an escape tunnel in the sides of the maze which Pac-Man can use to get away from any of the ghosts that may be pursuing him. After the maze has been cleared of all 240 dots and all four energizers, the entire sequence will begin again with increased difficulty. Between every two, three, or four completions, there are musical, animated intermissions to amuse the player while he or she waits for the next challenge to begin. However, these intermissions are not seen anymore once the 18th board (6th key) is reached. Everything Pac-Man eats has different point values. The dots are 10 points each, the energizers are 50 points each. The dark blue ghosts are respectively 200, 400, 800 and 1600 points. There are different point values for every bonus fruit or prize that is eaten: cherries, 100 points; strawberry, 300 points; peach, 500 points; apple, 700 points; grapes, 1000 points; Galaxian, 2000 points; bell, 3000 points; and key, 5000 points. You will also get a bonus Pac-Man at 10,000 points (switch selectable...can also be 15,000 points, 20,000 points, or no bonus). Hacks Brakman - Replaces the ghosts with Braks and changes the maze. It also changes the ready text to "YOWZA!" Clyde's Revenge - Lets you play as a ghost. DizzyGhost - Lets you play as a ghost. It also changes the maze. I'm Going Berzerk - Chicken! Eat all the dots like a robot! Mr. Pac Man - Uses the original Pac Man character while playing Ms. Pac Man. Pac-Kong - Uses the original Pac-Man graphics in a Donkey Kong game. Pac-Man 2600 - Changes the maze and graphics to make them look more like those from the Atari 2600. Pop-Man - A six IC update that changed the main character to Popeye's head. Featured a disappearing maze and six warp tunnels. This hack could also be used in Pac-Man Plus. Puckman Renaissance - Changes the graphics to make them look better. Snowy Day Pac-Man - Has a Christmas theme. Pika-Man - Changes Pac-Man to Pikachu's head, changes the maze, and changes the ghosts to Haunter. It also changes the "Ready" message to "PIKACHU!" Miscellaneous LICENSOR: Namco SPINOFF: Kick Man (Pac-Man and the ghosts appear in this game) Trivia The single most popular game of all time. The game spawned several lines of merchandise and a Saturday morning animated series on ABC that lasted two seasons (from 1982 to 1984). There was even a prime-time animated Christmas special called Christmas Comes To Pac-Land which was first broadcasted on ABC sometime in December 1982. Actor Marty Ingels supplied the voice for the main character in both of these animated shows and he was even given a genuine Pac-Man arcade game by the people who hired him. Toru Iwatani, Pacman Designer/Inventor The game's hero was born from a pan of pizza with one slice missing, as Toru Iwatani (Namco), was born on January 25, 1955 and it was his goal in 1979 to think of a character for his new game. He gazed down at the pizza, then it dawned on him ... a circle with a wedge missing for a mouth ... and so, Pac-Man was born. He completed Pac Man with the help of four others, after working on it for a year and five months, taking it from concept to finished product. The game was first introduced in Japan, where it was very successful. When the games was exported, Pac Man captured the imaginations of Americans and Europeans as well. The game was, at first, called Puckman. It was later changed due to the fact that the middle section of the 'P' could be scratched away making the name offensive to people. The American rights were to go to Atari originally, but they turned them down, saying the game was too easy. A game called "Pac-Man World: 20th Anniversary" was released for the PlayStation Game Console in late 1999. In this 3-D game, Pac-Man has to save his friends and family from Toc-Man (a robotic Pac-Man from Ghost Island, whose name is Namco's original name, Namcot, spelled backwards). The friends and family are here as follows: Pooka (from Dig Dug), Chomp-Chomp the Dog (from Pac-Land), Professor Pac (from Professor Pac-Man), Baby Pac (from Baby Pac-Man and Pac-Land), Junior Pac (from Jr. Pac-Man and Pac-Land), and Ms. Pac-Man (from Ms. Pac-Man and Pac-Land). Pac-Man has learned some new moves to save his family like swimming, revving and more. This release also contains the original Pac-Man game. Legacy Pac-Man Ms. Pac-Man Super Pac-Man Pac-Man Plus Baby Pac-Man Jr. Pac-Man Pac & Pal Pac-Land Pac-Mania Namco: "Pac-Man World" and 2002's "Pac-Man World 2", and 2005's "Pac-Man World 3" Pac Man World Enter Pac-Man World Link Pac-Man World Goodies Link Play Pac-Man World Intro Game Link Bozeman Montana Think Tank The first Ms. Pacman Masters to put their minds together in 1983 to master a game, and are now in 2005 still remembered as the Bozeman Montana Think Tank.

They were the first to acquire the grouping skills on all boards to acquire an incredible amount of points on Ms. Pacman. Link Pac Man turns 25 the Story Link A pizza dinner yields a cultural phenomenon - and millions of dollars in quarters. Billy Mitchell, Perfect Pacman Billy Mitchell was proclaimed the “Player of the Century” during a 1999 Tokyo Game Show for being the first person to accomplish a "perfect" game on Pac-Man. Not one life lost, not one ghost or dot missed, until the famous kill screen where the game scrambles and can no longer be played. What do Billy Mitchell's family think about his Perfect Pacman performance? Evelyn Mitchell, Billy Mitchell's wife is a teacher working on her PHD in Education and is very proud of her husbands achievements however she has not seen him play in competitions. Only one of Billy Mitchell's three children has picked up up his love for video games. The two girls and wife do not care for the classic games, but his boy, Billy Jr. called Little Billy, loves the classics and especially Donkey Kong and has showed prodigy like advances of completing many screens at only the age of seven with a sense of control which only the masters show. Billy Mitchell, the South Florida native and "Player of the Century" has a successful million dollar a year hot sauce company called Ricky's World Famous Sauce which he started in 1987 in Louisiana. He also owns Ricky's, the family business/restaurant which is a Hollywood, Florida Landmark, at which he took over from his father in the mid-1980s. His father, "Billy Mitchell, Sr." was concerned that Billy Mitchell was playing to many video games with at least 40 hours a week logged in at the arcade since the age of 16, but since Billy Mitchell's grades were up and he never missed a day of work, it was decided that it was o.k. to spend so much time on the games. Billy Mitchell still plays video games but doesn't have to much time with family and business pressing in however if he can he will play a couple of games of Ms. pacman in his gameroom at the back of his restaurant where there is a Sega Daytona Racing, Golden Tee 2005 and Ms. Pac-Man, but missing the famous Pac-Man Game. Link Visit Rickey's Restaurant and Lounge at 4799 Hollywood Blvd. Hollywood, Florida for the best Hot Wings! Link Rickey’s World Famous Louisiana Sauce Link Tony Temple's Hot Sauce Challenge Link Ricky's Hot Sauce Link There is also the new Mame and Xbox 360 and Classic CoinOp Pacman Perfect Player, who has stated the following about hard hard grouping is in Pacman: Amazing that Pac-man still gets attention after so many years. In 1983, I became the World Champion with 3,197,360. At the time, I thought that was at least close to the high-end that you could get - color me wrong I guess! I only wished that the fraudulent scores of the day (some guy claimed 12 million once - and it made USA Today!) hadn't soured the milk of success for me. I guess I can only say that at least my place in history was finally secured with the TG Book of Records (thanks, TG!). You'll need at least 5-6 patterns to reach the kill screen consistently. One for the Cherry, one for Strawberry to Apple, one for Apple to 3rd Key, one for 3rd Key to 7th Key (some Apple patterns work here too), one for 7th and 8th Key, and one for 9th Key on (assuming slow board - pacman gets eaten just above the lower-left energizer in the demo). The "split-second boards" (1st Galaxian, 1st, 3rd, 4th, and 6th Keys) are indeed tough. Have you ever heard of the grouping strategy in Ms. Pacman - where you can crowd the ghosts on top of one another? This is what you have to do in Pac-Man. Get them on top of one another and then lure them to an energizer - it becomes as if you are contending with one ghost instead of four. I do have a pattern that can "almost" get one 1600 on these boards, but I get eaten by the fourth ghost just before I reach him as he turns back to his dangerous color about 95% of the time. Check out the "How to win at Video Games" book. It lists patterns that are similair to each other and should be easiest to learn. Its 18 years old, so it may be tough to find. I have a copy that I could send the snapshots to if you need it.... -- Tim Balderramos (pacmantab) October 05, 2000. Link Twin Galaxies Golden age is Reborn Link
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