PAC-MAN

HIDDEN MESSAGE: There is a way to trigger a hidden message (a software security feature perhaps?).  To trigger it, go into TEST mode, hold down both START buttons, toggle the TEST switch off and on (you should see a grid), flip the TEST switch again (faster), and then push the following directions 4 times each: UPLEFTRIGHTDOWN.   The message "MADE BY NAMCO" appears, spelled out sideways in power pills (picture #1).  This also works on Pac-Man Plus, Ms. Pac-Man and various bootleg boards (such as Hangly Man, Piranha, etc.).  {Dave Widel}

Hiding spot – At the start, go right and up first channel and stop.  Make sure no monsters “see” you doing this, and you must be facing up for this to work. Also, at the start of a game if you eat the 1st left dot and then go in the spot it works fine, but if you eat the 2nd-6th, it doesn't!  Yet, it works if you eat all 7.  The Pac-Man Dossier by Jamey Pittman (LINK) describes other areas of the maze where the monsters’ logic can be similarly exploited. The two red zones (picture #4) represent the areas where monsters are forbidden to make upward turns.  Once a monster enters either of these two zones, it may only travel from right-to-left or left-to-right until exiting the area (video #1).

Patterns and videos can be found LINK.

BUG: There is a subroutine which controls the flashing energizers in the attract mode of Pac-Man. Normally, this subroutine is only supposed to run during the introduction screen where the monsters are introduced by name. On some occasions, when the player dies, this subroutine gets called, which flashes the 2 screen location where these energizers are located. When it is called, it causes the disappearance of the dot that is 2 to the left of the starting point of Pac-Man in the maze. The other screen location that is affected is already blank, so the changed color has no visible effect there. This bug also affects the mazes in Ms. Pac-Man as well.  {Don Hodges}

BUG: “Booey” – It’s possible to harmlessly pass through a monster!  There are even patterns that allow from 2 to 5 booeys on a single board!  Below is a 9-key pattern (picture #3) in which you’ll pass through the blue monster near the beginning of the pattern in the bottom-left hand corner.

BUG: Kill screen - After level 255 (243rd key), the famous “split screen” appears (picture #2), which is a result of a byte-rollover error (the game considers this screen board 0).  This can be easily seen by using the ‘advance rack’ dip switch for about 15 minutes.  There’s no way to advance past the split screen (without using the rack advance dip switch).  Hidden in the right side of the screen are 9 ‘hidden’ dots that can be eaten.  A perfect game entails using every life to eat all of these.

RUMOR: The Namco logo is in the graphics ROMs on some versions.  There’s also an unused explosion sprite in the code as well.

RUMOR: Although pretty much discounted as being true, there has long been a rumor that it was possible to avoid the split-screen if your score at the end of level 254 contains the sequence “255” at any position in your score.  You’ll then return to the cherry board, except instead of a cherry in the lower right corner, there will be a broken key in both lower corners.  None of the monsters will turn blue.  Two additional split screens occur- one the 366th key, and the other somewhere in the 460s.

 

 


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