Ms Pac man – The secret of Pac man’s other half
Whether you’re a hardcore gaming enthusiast who loves the classics from the 70’s and 80’s or someone who experienced the full force of the golden age of gaming, you’re bound to have enjoyed the popular Ms Pac man title at some point. In certain gaming circles the original “Pac man” game is believed to have been the starting point for the whole arcade gaming craze and is sometimes known as the “father of modern gaming”. Well, if that’s the case then Ms Pac man is definitely the “Sister,” as this little gem of a game showed the gaming industry how follow up titles can be just as popular, or in some cases cause even more of a stir than the original.
The original Pac Man arcade game was initially designed by a Japanese game developer Tohru Iwatani and released by Namco under the name “Puckman” before being snatched up by and put on the American market by Midway. The game was an immediate hit, with people all over the world addictively spending a lot of their free time trying to win their way into the top score boards in the quickest times.
The real story of Ms Pac Man
If you thought that Ms Pac Man was an original release by Namco as a follow up to the original game, you’d be wrong; in fact the truth is more sinister than that. Shortly after its release a team of software programmers at the US based ‘General Computer Corporation, known for designing hacks for popular arcade games, released an add-on for Pac Man called “Crazy Otto”. They thought it would be a huge money maker and decided to show it to the US distributor for Namco, Midway who liked the idea and were a little impatient waiting for Namco to come out with their latest Pac Man follow on. Midway decided to package it and release it themselves as Ms Pac Man, after which it became a massive hit with gamers around the world. To make a long story short, Namco was not happy with this decision and after threatening to sue all the rights for Ms Pac Man were quickly handed over to become the version that is popularly remembered today.
Ms Pac Man and Pac Man – what’s the difference?
The original Pac Man character remains an iconic symbol of gaming to this day, made up of a yellow circle with a triangular shaped mouth with a black dot for an eye; on the other hand the Ms Pac Man character has a big red bow and a more detailed eye.
The game play for both games is almost identical; players still have to navigate themselves around several mazes eating up all the dots whilst dodging a number of ghosts and occasionally eating the power-up dots to make your self invincible for a few seconds. Aside from the obvious character change the other main differences can be seen in the color of the maze background, the ghost’s movements, the extra point fruit items bouncing instead of staying still and a few added cut scenes that build up a storyline between Pac Man and Ms Pac Man.
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