Ms. Pac-Man

aka: Arcade Game Series: Ms. Pac-Man, Crazy Otto, Miss Pac-Man, Mrs. Pac-Man, Pac-Woman, Super Pac-Man
Moby ID: 576
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Description official descriptions

In 1981, a sequel to Pac-Man was introduced in the form of his girlfriend, Ms. Pac-Man. This sequel continued on the "eat the dots/avoid the ghosts" gameplay of the original game, but added new features to keep the title fresh.

Like her boyfriend, Ms. Pac-Man attempts to clear four various and challenging mazes filled with dots and ever-moving bouncing fruit while avoiding Inky, Blinky, Pinky, and Sue, each with their own personalities and tactics. One touch from any of these ghosts means a loss of life for Ms. Pac-Man.

Ms. Pac-Man can turn the tables on her pursuers by eating one of the four Energizers located within the maze. During this time, the ghosts turn blue, and Ms. Pac-Man can eat them for bonus points (ranging from 200, 400, 800, and 1600, progressively). The Energizer power only lasts for a limited amount of time, as the ghost's eyes float back to their center box, and regenerate to chase after Ms. Pac-Man again.

Survive a few rounds of gameplay, and the player will be treated to humorous intermissions showing the growing romantic relationship between Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man, leading all the way up to the arrival of "Junior".

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Credits (Arcade version)

10 People (9 developers, 1 thanks)

Developers
Music
Intermissions
Hardware Designer
Hello
Hardware (Namco)
Programming (Namco)

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 73% (based on 63 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.5 out of 5 (based on 340 ratings with 7 reviews)

Ready to eat with Pac-Man's girlfriend?

The Good
Atari 2600's Ms. Pac-Man had nice graphics, sound effects and gameplay. It was one of the best titles for Atari 2600. Similar to Pac-Man (which was a actual crap in Atari 2600), it features walking fruits and faster processing, making the game more addictive. Do you want anymore?

The Bad
Nothing, this game is awesome!

The Bottom Line
Ms. Pac-Man is one of the best Atari 2600 games. Highly recommended for any player who has an Atari 2600 video game console!

Atari 2600 · by Gustavo Henrique dos Santos (97) · 2014

Say hello to Pac's new girlfriend

The Good
Ms. Pac-Man is the sequel to Pac-Man, the first game to include a central character where the user is free to navigate around the maze in any direction. What sets Ms. Pac-Man apart is that she wears the same things that normal women have on their faces - eyeliner, lipstick, a bow, and a beauty spot. Although this game shares the similar gameplay to its predecessor, it is far more superior, and anyone who is playing this game for the first time will notice the differences.

For example, there isn't the one maze, but four of them. Each maze has different colors and is structured differently, with two pairs of escape tunnels in different positions. The mazes did not change in Pac-Man, and it was boring for me just looking at the same maze for long enough, so looking at different mazes is refreshing

The fruit that you can get wanders around aimlessly through the maze instead of remaining static in the center of the screen, and you have plenty of time to get it before it goes through the escape tunnel and disappears. I like how getting the fruit is a bit of a challenge as it is likely that you guide Ms. Pac-Man around the same corners rather than where the fruit is heading, and you have to look for short-cuts so that you can get to it quicker before the ghosts stop you.

One big difference is that Clyde has been replaced with Sue, but I have no idea what was wrong with Clyde. There are new intermissions. I only viewed one of these, since I haven't completed level five yet. The one I viewed has Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man being chased by two of the ghosts. The two of them meet up later then fall in love. The funny thing about this intermission is that Pac-Man hasn't got any eyes. It is possible that Pac-Man looks like this through the remainder of the game.

There are new sound effects, including new start-up music and new death sound. One sound effect that I enjoy listening to is the sound effect that plays whenever Ms. Pac-Man manages to get a power-pellet – it is just like Pac-Man, but changes to higher notes to indicate when the ghosts are returning back to normal.

The Bad
I can't really think of anything bad about this game.

The Bottom Line
Ms. Pac-Man has the simple objective as its predecessor – gobble up all the dots in the maze while avoiding the ghosts. There are slight changes to the game, including the layout of the mazes, the fruit wandering around aimlessly, and the replacement of Clyde with Sue. There are new intermissions and new sound effects. These differences do not stop gamers from enjoying the game's success.

NES · by Katakis | カタキス (43091) · 2006

A good game for old PCs.

The Good
Ms. Pac-Man had good graphics, sound effects and gameplay. It used the same trick of PC-Man: one CGA palette ingame, two for congratulations at the end of each level.

The Bad
There was only a problem: controls. They were sometimes confusing, making the game harder than it really was. And, like Pac-Man, it wasn't converted to Colecovision.

The Bottom Line
Ms. Pac-Man was good, but Pac-Man and PC-Man was better. If you have an old PC and collect games, get it. But if you don't do, choose if you get it or no.

PC Booter · by Gustavo Henrique dos Santos (97) · 2014

[ View all 7 player reviews ]

Discussion

Subject By Date
Last number of UPC-A is missing? Edwin Drost (9385) Dec 30, 2019
Am I the only one seeing... Pseudo_Intellectual (66360) May 21, 2014
Ms. Pac-Man chased through New York by ghosts Pseudo_Intellectual (66360) Oct 31, 2007

Trivia

1001 Video Games

The Arcade version of Ms. Pac-Man appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Board game adaption

In 1982 Milton-Bradley released a board game adaptation of this video game.

Ghosts

While three of the ghosts returned from the original Pac-Man game, the orange ghost (Pokey/Clyde) was made female, and given the nickname "Sue". Sue was later depicted as a purple ghost, first in the animated series, then in later versions of the game. Sue is also named after the sister of original General Computer hacker Doug Macrae.

Launch game

Ms. Pac-Man was one of the "Fabulous Eleven" launch games for the Atari 7800.

Title

Once her initial leggy incarnation as Crazy Otto had been shelved, Ms. Pac-Man went through a baffling array of name changes: Pac-Woman was eventually vetoed by female employees of Midway, and revised to Miss Pac-Man -- until someone noticed that animated inter-scene depictions of the male and female Pac-Men getting together and producing a child now illustrated a bastard birth out of wedlock. From there, it shuffled to Mrs. Pac-Man and, at the last minute (within 72 hours of the production line startup of the original coin-ops) finalized as Ms. Pac-Man.

TV series reference

The game is referenced in season 5, episode 18 (Meet the Quagmires) of the animated TV series Family Guy. Peter Griffin, one of the main characters, is shown playing the arcade game of Ms. Pac-Man in 1984. The following conversation ensues:

Woman: Wow, you're really good at this game!
Peter Griffin: Yeah, I've logged a lot of game hours on Menstrual Ms. Pac-Man.
[in the game, we see Ms. Pac-Man eating her way across the screen, with 4 ghosts following her. Suddenly she turns toward them]
Ms. Pac-Man: WHAT?! WHAT?! [the ghosts quickly run away]
Blinky: Geeze.
Clyde: Nothing.
Pinky: Bitch.

Unauthorized release

The arcade game Ms. Pac-Man was not created or authorized by Namco, who holds the original license. The idea behind this game was to make an upgrade for Pac-Man called "Crazy Otto", developed by General Computer Corporation (GCC). GCC approached Midway Manufacturing about buying the upgrade, which Midway did. Midway (Namco's American distributor) then altered Crazy Otto to make Ms. Pac-Man.

Midway (a division of Bally, at the time) released Ms. Pac-Man (unauthorized), but after a year they passed the rights of the game and character to Namco so that Namco would not sue them or withdraw their licensing agreement.

Unfortunately, Midway did not learn its lesson and created a number of other unlicensed versions of Pac-Man (like Pac-Man Plus, Baby Pac-Man and Jr. Pac-Man), which caused Namco to finally withdraw their agreement.

Awards

  • Electronic Gaming Monthly
    • November 1997 (Issue 100) - ranked #89 (Best 100 Games of All Time) (Genesis / SNES versions)
  • Game Informer Magazine
    • August 2001 (Issue 100) - voted #9 in a Top 100 Games of All Time poll
  • Retro Gamer Magazine
    • (Issue 46) - voted #15 in a “Top 25 Atari 2600” Games poll
  • The Strong National Museum of Play
    • 2022 – Introduced into the World Video Game Hall of Fame

Information also contributed Guy Chapman, Klaster_1, LepricahnsGold, Pseudo_Intellectual, and Sciere

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Trixter.

Xbox added by CalaisianMindthief. SNES added by Corn Popper. Genesis, NES, Commodore 64 added by PCGamer77. Windows added by Evolyzer. Atari 7800, Atari 5200 added by RKL. iPod Classic, BlackBerry, PlayStation 4, Xbox One added by Sciere. Android, Palm OS added by Kabushi. Game Gear added by Opipeuter. TI-99/4A, ZX Spectrum, VIC-20, Atari 8-bit, Atari 2600, Apple II added by Servo. Xbox 360, iPhone added by Ben K. SEGA Master System added by Katakis | カタキス. Game Boy added by quizzley7. Lynx added by Jeanne. Arcade added by rcoltrane.

Additional contributors: PCGamer77, Alaka, Pseudo_Intellectual, Starbuck the Third, FatherJack, ZeTomes, Bart Smith, Evolyzer, Abhishek Kumar, SoMuchChaotix.

Game added December 15, 1999. Last modified March 28, 2024.