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    FAQ by Xexex

    Version: 1.0 | Updated: 04/12/06 | Printable Version | Search This Guide

    ===============================================================================
                                      PAC-MAN
                              For Neo Geo Pocket Colour¹
                   A Guide to Playing, and Walkthrough for, Pac-Man
    
                                         by
                                     Tim Miller
                                                              v1.0    12 April 2006
    ===============================================================================
    ¹ Color if you're American (and can't spell!)
    
    TABLE OF CONTENTS
    -----------------
    
    1 - Introduction
    	1.1 - What is Pac-Man?
    	1.2 - What's the Point of this guide?
    	1.3 - Contact Questions
    2 - An Introduction to the Game
    	2.1 - Where to go from the Title Screen
    	2.2 - The Idea of the Game
    3 - Game Controls
    	3.1 - Menu Controls
    	3.2 - In-Game Controls
    4 - A Walkthrough of the Game
    	4.1 - Things on the Screen
    	4.2 - Strategies to Maximise your Score
    	4.3 - Intermissions
    5 - Cheats and Tips
    6 - Questions and Answers
    7 - Acknowledgements
    8 - Contact Details and Legal Stuff
    	8.1 - Version History
    
    
    1 - INTRODUCTION
    ----------------
    
    1.1 - What is Pac-Man?
    ------------------------
    
    Ah, so you're the one who's been in isolation for the last 20 years.
    
    Pac-Man is a game where you control a basic character around a maze, avoiding
    enemies (ghosts) and collecting pellets.  You can eat a bigger pellet, and this
    makes the ghosts edible for a short time.
    
    There are no guns, no dismembered limbs, no semi-naked girls.  This is a game
    with pure gameplay at its heart.  And yes, it does get a little monotonous.
    
    Pac-Man was released into the arcades in 1981, and has appeared in some form on
    almost every computer and console since.  The Neo Geo Pocket Colour version is
    an exact replica of the orginal arcade game, only about 2,000 times smaller in
    terms of physical size.
    
    1.2 - What's the point of this guide?
    -------------------------------------
    
    There's nothing out there yet, quite basically.  Pac-Man is an old arcade game,
    and not the most complicated of beasts.  There's a fair amount of strategy
    involved in playing that game though, and the NGPC version means that you can
    take that strategy anywhere.
    
    This guide provides a basic idea of how best to play the game, and any secrets
    you're likely to uncover.
    
    1.3 - You've got it wrong!  Can I email you?  Can I use this FAQ on my site?
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    See Section 8.  I have no idea why this should be at the beginning, but people
    seem to look for it here ...
    
    
    2 - AN INTRODUCTION TO THE GAME
    -------------------------------
    
    Pac-Man is an old game.  As with most old games, it's incredibly simple to
    play, but very addictive.
    
    2.1 - Where to go from the Title Screen
    ---------------------------------------
    
    Options?  Pah, in my day there weren't any of these fancy options.
    
    Namco have been a bit daft in this game.  There are two options on the main
    menu screen - "scroll" and "full-screen".  These determine the viewpoint from
    which you observe Pac-Man.  Both are overhead views, but the first one is
    zoomed in a lot more.  While this means that you can see a bit easier, it means
    you can't see where the ghosts are as easily.  You have no idea if they're just
    around the corner, or just about to enter the tunnel ...
    
    Choose "full-screen".  It's the only real way to play the game.
    
    2.2 - The Idea of the Game
    --------------------------
    
    The basic idea of the game is to score as many points as you can.  You earn
    points by eating pellets, eating bonus items, and eating the ghosts after
    you've turned them blue.
    
    When you've eaten all the pellets on one level, the maze will flash, and you go
    on to the next one.  Each level is identical apart from the speed of the
    ghosts, the time you get given by a power pill, and the value (and type) of the
    bonus fruit you can eat.
    
    
    3 - GAME CONTROLS
    -----------------
    
    None of your down, down-right, right + A in this game ...
    
    3.1 - Menu Controls
    -------------------
    
    Press up and down to select which mode you want to play in.  The option in red
    is the highlighted one.  Press A to start the game.
    
    3.2 - In-Game Controls
    ----------------------
    
    This is what games are about - there's nothing complicated and anyone can
    control it.  Use the joystick to tell Pac-Man which direction to go in.  Er,
    that's it.  You can pause the game with the "option" button.
    
    
    4 - A WALKTHROUGH OF THE GAME
    -----------------------------
    
    I apologise for the scattiness of some of this.  When I get a tuit (preferably
    a spherical one) I'll try and reorder it.
    
    4.1 - Things on the Screen
    --------------------------
    
    The maze walls are blue.  These define where you can move.  On either side of
    the maze are two passages to the left and right.  If you go off the screen to
    the left, you reappear on the right - so don't go off that way if there's a
    ghost waiting at the other end.
    
    You are Pac-Man, the yellow circle with a sector² missing.  You press up, he
    goes up if there's not a wall in the way.  The character of Pac-Man was
    developed when his creator, Toru Iwatani, was eating pizza, and removed one
    slice.  He exists solely to eat.  Pac-Man was originally called Puck-Man, since
    he was like an ice-hockey puck.  The name was changed after vandals changed the
    P to an F.
    
    Spread around the maze are small pellets; each of these is worth 10 points.  In
    the four corners are the power pellets; these are worth 50 points.  When one of
    these is eaten, Pac-Man has a limited time to eat the ghosts (they will turn
    light blue and run away from him).  The more ghosts Pac-Man eats per pellet,
    the more points they are worth:
    	First ghost  - 200  points
    	Second ghost - 400  points
    	Third ghost  - 800  points
    	Fourth ghost - 1600 points
    
    In the centre of the maze is the ghost's home.  After a short period from the
    start of the game, the ghosts come out of here one by one and chase after
    Pac-Man.
    
    Inky is the blue ghost.  He seems to be afraid of Pac-Man, and will run away if
    challenged at all.
    
    Pinky is the pink ghost.  He is very fast, and can out-run Pac-Man.  If chased
    by him, turn a lot of corners and hope you'll lose him.
    
    Blinky is the red ghost.  He'll follow Pac-Man as closely as possible, and he's
    quite fast. As long as you keep going you should be fine, but try and avoid him
    most of all.
    
    Clyde is the orange ghost.  I have no idea why he's called Clyde.  He'll wander
    all over the place and never seems to notice when Pac-Man's near.  He's also
    very slow.
    
    The numbers at the top left of the screen are your score.  The higher the
    better.  Your score is listed next to "1 UP" (which keeps annoyingly flashing);
    the current record score is also shown.
    
    At the bottom of the screen are two indicators.  On the left side is a list of
    the lives Pac-Man has left; you start with 2 spare, and you can earn a new one
    by getting 10,000 points.  On the right is a list of the levels that Pac-Man
    has completed, including the current one.  These are represented as fruit, and
    are shown in sequence (the sequence starts as a cherry, then strawberry, then
    two apples).
    
    These fruit also appear in the centre of the maze, below the ghost's home, and
    if collected carry scores of:
    	Cherry - 100 points
    	Strawberry - 300 points
    	Peach - 500 points
    	Apples - 700 points
    	Grapes - 1000 points
    	Galaga - 2000 points
    	Bell - 3000 points
    	Key - 5000 points
    OK, OK, they're not all fruit.
    
    ² I'm a mathematician.  A sector of a circle is a segment of an orange, and
    that's a piece of cake.  A segment of a circle is formed by joining two points
    on the circumference with a straight line; this divides the circle into two
    segments.
    
    4.2 - Strategies to Maximise your Score
    ---------------------------------------
    
    People have made it their life ambition to play Pac-Man well.  Don't expect to
    become an expert overnight!  The maximum score on the arcade machine was
    finally acheived in 1999 by Billy Mitchell - with 3,333,360 points.  On the
    arcade machine there were a fixed number of levels, and the last (level 255)
    was only half there (the right-hand side of the screen was corrupted).  To my
    knowledge, nobody's got that far with the NGPC version to find out if it's the
    same, but I would guess it is since it seems to be an almost exact emulation³.
    
    There are several sites on the Internet which have comprehensive guides to
    getting the highest score you can on the arcade machine, which should apply to
    the NGPC game.  Two of the best are:
    	http://www.hanaho.com/pacman/
    	www.mameworld.net/pacman/
    There is also a book, which has been electronically reproduced at:
    	http://www.upcweb.com/d3b/download/break-pac-man.pdf
    
    Listed below are some more general tips in how to do the best you can.
    
    - Avoid the top and bottom quaters of the screen.  The ghosts can trap you in
    these more easily.
    
    - Use the full-screen mode.  I can't stress this enough.
    
    - Before eating a power pellet, wait until the ghosts are as near as possible.
    This will give them less of a chance to escape.
    
    - If you're being chased by a fast ghost, try and go through the tunnel to the
    side of the screen.  Ghosts move through this tunnel a lot slower than Pac-Man
    does.  Be wary, however, of ghosts waiting on the other side of the screen.
    
    - Collect the fruit!  As you progress through the game, the fruit becomes more
    and more valuable, and thus more and more crucial to you getting a higher score.
    
    - Take your time.  The ghosts don't get faster if you take longer over a level
    - they do speed up as you progress through levels though!
    
    - After level 18, eating a power pill has no effect.  Until level 18, the
    amount of time that ghosts are scared for decreases by level.  It's going to be
    difficult to get all four ghosts on level 17!
    
    - Don't worry too much about Clyde, the orange ghost.  He's a bit thick.  But
    do watch out for him when you take a trip through the tunnel, since he might be
    on the other side.
    
    ³ It's an almost exact emulation, but of which game?  The original game counted
    levels in terms of two cherries, two strawberries, two apples and so on.  The
    fact that this game starts with cherry, strawberry, two apples, indicates that
    it's an emulation of a modified machine.  When people started to get too good
    at the game, and were taking too much time on it, Midway altered the patterns
    of the ghost movements to make it harder for regular players.  It seems that
    this game is a copy of a later version.
    
    4.3 - Intermissions
    -------------------
    
    After you complete level 2, you'll get a short intermission animation.  You
    also get an animation after levels 5, 9, 13 and 17.  There are, however, only
    three animations which repeat.
    
    4.3.1 - Animation One
    
    Pac-Man goes across the screen, left to right, chased by the red ghost.  As
    soon as the ghost goes off the left, it reappears runing the other way, in its
    "frightened" guise.  After a little while, giant Pac-Man appears and chases the
    ghost.
    
    4.3.2 - Animation Two
    
    Pac-Man is again chased across the screen.  As the ghost passes the middle of
    the screen, his cloak is ripped across the middle; the ghost runs back to the
    right.
    
    4.3.3 - Animation Three
    
    Pac-Man is chased again.  This time, as the ghost passes the middle of the
    screen, his whole cloak is snagged on something and falls off.
    
    
    5 - CHEATS AND TIPS
    -------------------
    
    There's a "dead spot" in the maze where Pac-Man can rest for a while.  This is
    found under the right-hand eave of the "T" shape immediately below the ghost's
    home.  Provided that Pac-Man was not seen as he went into this spot, the ghosts
    will not bother him here.
    
    Make sure that you wait until the last moment before eating a power pellet,
    it'll make getting the ghosts a lot easier.
    
    
    6 - QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
    -------------------------
    
    Q) Does the game save your high score?
    
    A) This game is all about getting high scores.  It would be ludicrous that your
    high score wasn't saved, wouldn't it?  NAMCO, YOU ARE FOOLS.  There is no
    facility to save your score.
    
    Q) Why do you prefer the full-screen mode?
    
    A) You need to know where all the ghosts are at any one time, basically.
    Without full-screen mode, you can't.
    
    Q) Why do you call the ghosts Inky, Pinky, Blinky and Clyde?
    
    A) On the attract mode, these are listed as their nicknames.  Others have
    stated that the characters are called "Shadow", "Speedy, "Bashful" and "Pokey",
    as listed under the "Character" heading.  I don't think this is so.  I believe
    this column gives you a rough idea of how that ghost acts, not their name.
    
    
    7 - ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
    --------------------
    
    Thanks to:
    Clyde for being such a dimwit
    uk.games.video.misc for encouraging me to buy the game
    
    
    8 - CONTACT DETAILS AND LEGAL STUFF
    -----------------------------------
    
    The email address associated with this FAQ is pacman@economic-truth.co.uk - you
    should use this for all correspondence.
    
    I (Tim Miller) retain all copyright over this document, since I wrote it.  If
    you want to use it on your website, email me and ask.  I will probably say yes,
    and specify that the actual content is not altered in any way (formatting will
    probably be OK - not changing to American spelling though ...).  However, you
    must ask first.
    
    If you notice any errors on this FAQ, please email me.  If you have any
    suggestions to additional material, please email me.  If you have any questions
    that aren't answered, please email me.  In all cases, don't be offended if I
    don't get back to immediately, or don't take your comments completely on board.
    I'm just like that.
    
    8.1 - Version History
    ---------------------
    
    v0.1 : 10 June 2002  - Added everything and sent to GameFAQs
    v1.0 : 12 April 2006 - Finalised version