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sandmountainslim

Ms Pac Man question

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Hi all, I have what is probably a stupid question , I was dining in a cafe today and saw an old Ms Pac Man machine so I decided to give it a go, what puzzled me was how FAST Ms Pac moved on the screen it was like lightning much faster than the Atari version or emulations I have played. Was something wrong with the machine or was it always this fast and I have forgotten until now? Thanks for any answers

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Years ago somebody released a [i]Ms. Pac-Man[/i] hack that gave her much faster speed. The hack became so famous that either Namco has made it part of the official kit or are at least turning a blind eye to its distribution.

Do not adjust your joystick, this is perfectly normal.

One neat variation of the hack requires a fire button that controls Ms. Pac-Man's speed: normal when not pressed, turbo when pressed.

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They did have a Hyper kit that was available, but most of the ones you see today simply have a speed up chip in them. Its a simple programming on a 2532 eprom on the board and BAM, you are in turbo mode. I do not think Namco will ever crack down on it; not even sure how they would. Kind of like Nintendo getting mad at you for using a GameShark I think.

Most buyers prefer it, btw. Its not pure, but most of my machines leave my shop with them installed.

Cassidy

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[url="http://www.atariage.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=40787"]http://www.atariage.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=40787[/url]

This topic was dicussed extensively in the above thread.

Reading through that thread, I realized that another year has passed, and I have still not beaten my Ms. Pacman high score from 1997. I did get 219,000 a couple days ago though.

--Jason

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I think I may be the only person in the world who hates the speed up chip. I ran across an original Ms Pac in a pizza place while on vacation last year, this was the first Ms. Pac I've seen in ages that didn't have the speed up chip in it. I must have played it for a half hour before my wife finally made me stop and eat my lunch.

-S

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No. I'm with you man. I too despise the speed up chip. There's a hyper Ms. Pacman at one of the arcades down at the shore we go to, but I won't play it, and tell the kids mean stories that they may go blind if they play it. To me, it's just not the way it was meant to be played :|

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Honestly, I just thought Ms. Pac-Man was just always like that, until I played it on my MAME Emulator. Every machine I played had the speedup chip in it... strange.

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I have only seen one ms pac in a while and it had the speedup chip in it. My Mr. Do has a speedup chip also and I don't like playing it with it installed. I guess that one was official from universal, but I only have a copy of the chip.

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KLOV says...
[quote]Manufacturer: Midway[/quote]

So it's official. Well, not really...since Midway was misusing their Pac-Man license. The next year, Namco took it away from them.

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Personally, I also hate the speed-up chip. However, when I bought a multipac kit for my Pac-man (which lets you play Ms. Pac as well as Pac and other games) you can set the game to play normal speed, unless you hold down the player 2 button, which lets you use the speed up option). I've seen the new Namco Reunion Class of 1981 machines that are set to original speed, and ones that are set to speed-up, too.

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....we played the PS2 Namco Museum version last Christmas, and he verified that the speed on the Museum version is closest to the arcade...

..you can tell the speed up chip because the game is MUCH easier than the original...with the original, you'd be THE MAN if you go to see the Baby Pacman mini movie...it's pretty tough, even now!...with the speed up chip, you can get there with every quarter.

Thoughts?

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[quote name='sandmountainslim' date='Sat May 14, 2005 8:14 PM']Was Ms Pac-Man Plus a legitimate Bally Midway game?  I dont recall seeing one in person but ran across a reference to it online.
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Ms pac plus was a bootleg enhancement for pacman boards. It was an auxillary board similar to the real ms pacman. I have seen one briefly in person. I'm trying to get the guy who has it to loan it to me for dumping as the dump in mame is a fake. It's one of the few pac hardware games still MIA. The other game still MIA is EEEK! Which I've paid $500 for and have yet to receive after 6 months. :(

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The ironic thing about the speedup kit is that (IMHO) it actually makes the game much easier. I could almost never clear the third or fourth board on the original slow Ms.Pac, but on the turbo version I can clear a dozen boards without even trying.

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[quote name='ZylonBane' date='Mon May 16, 2005 11:03 AM']The ironic thing about the speedup kit is that (IMHO) it actually makes the game much easier. I could almost never clear the third or fourth board on the original slow Ms.Pac, but on the turbo version I can clear a dozen boards without even trying.
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Yes, but you clear the boards much faster, so you may still get off the machine quicker than you would have before. That's why operators liked it too.

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I know both Ms. Pac Man and Pac Man Plus came out around the same time (Ms Pac first?) Why was Ms. Pac so much more popular than Pac Plus? I mean I like Ms. Pac Man just fine but to me Pac Plus is more fun with the fruit/Coke acting like energizers.

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It was the faulty energizers, I think. Most people probably didn't like them. The only reason that they were in the game was to provide a level of unpredictability (so that no patterns could be created). This too was probably something that people weren't used to when seeing the familiar Pac maze. With Ms. Pac, the energizers at least always work...and the intro movements/moving fruit provide nearly the same level of unpredictabilty (plus it had almost completely new GFX and sounds).

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[quote name='Nukey Shay' date='Mon May 16, 2005 4:30 PM']It was the faulty energizers, I think.  Most people probably didn't like them.  The only reason that they were in the game was to provide a level of unpredictability (so that no patterns could be created).  This too was probably something that people weren't used to when seeing the familiar Pac maze.  With Ms. Pac, the energizers at least always work...and the intro movements/moving fruit provide nearly the same level of unpredictabilty (plus it had almost completely new GFX and sounds).
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Yes, the energizer change was lame. But also they cranked the difficulty way up as well. With ms pac you could walk up and play a couple of levels even if you didn't know what you were doing. Especially with the speedup. Those 2 changes combined to make most people feel the game was too hard. I think it was like super zaxxon, they listened to the operators complaints that the average game length was too long so they way overcompensated for the sequel.

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Has anyone ever seen the 20th anniversary version of the game, which also gives you the option of playing Galaga? That one is cool, because you get to keep pumping in quarters and resume the game from where you left off. However, two summers ago when I was playing it, I cleared a board with a little over 800,000 points when the screen went blank. The maze was gone and there were only a few dots. I've heard that something similar happens in Pac Man when you get to the 255th board, but this couldn't have been the 255th board, since I hadn't been playing that long and besides, my score would have been over a million (though I was getting weak random fruits more often than not, but still).
What board is it when Ms. Pac Man get all wacky like that?

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[quote name='ulij20' date='Thu May 26, 2005 3:41 PM']Has anyone ever seen the 20th anniversary version of the game, which also gives you the option of playing Galaga?  That one is cool, because you get to keep pumping in quarters and resume the game from where you left off.  However, two summers ago when I was playing it, I cleared a board with a little over 800,000 points when the screen went blank.  The maze was gone and there were only a few dots.  I've heard that something similar happens in Pac Man when you get to the 255th board, but this couldn't have been the 255th board, since I hadn't been playing that long and besides, my score would have been over a million (though I was getting weak random fruits more often than not, but still).
What board is it when Ms. Pac Man get all wacky like that?
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It's different on the anniversary boards. It's 141. On a real board it's starts to get flaky around 131 and might crash or play upside down, but it will always crash at 141 if you make it that far.

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[quote name='sandmountainslim' date='Sat May 28, 2005 2:25 PM']Were any Pac-Man machines equipped with the speed up chip or was it just Ms. Pac?
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Pac Man and Ms. Pac share many of the same ROMs. In fact, an original Ms. Pac Man has the 4 Pac Man ROMs on the board, then adds an auxillary board that applies patches to the game as it's running.

Anyhoo... the common speed-up mod was to replace one of the program ROMs, and it works on Pac Man or Ms Pac Man.

-Bry

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I've seen two different speed hacks. One merely changes the byte in the ROM that controls the delay between Ms. Pac's 'move' frames (so that instead of waiting, she moves on every frame). The other one was tied into the start buttons, IIRC, and caused the whole game to speed up, ghosts and all.

In my area, it's rare to see a Ms. Pac without the first hack detailed above. I've only seen one Ms. Pac with the second hack, and I don't think I've seen any machines with the original Ms. Pac speed (except for the Ms. Pac/Galaga anniversary cab that's at the only arcade in this city, which I don't count since it's a rerelease, and not an original cab).

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[quote name='LocalH' date='Sat May 28, 2005 2:03 PM']I've seen two different speed hacks. One merely changes the byte in the ROM that controls the delay between Ms. Pac's 'move' frames (so that instead of waiting, she moves on every frame). The other one was tied into the start buttons, IIRC, and caused the whole game to speed up, ghosts and all.

In my area, it's rare to see a Ms. Pac without the first hack detailed above. I've only seen one Ms. Pac with the second hack, and I don't think I've seen any machines with the original Ms. Pac speed (except for the Ms. Pac/Galaga anniversary cab that's at the only arcade in this city, which I don't count since it's a rerelease, and not an original cab).
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The second hack you mentioned is the hardware hack. It's harder to do than just burning a new eprom and the players don't like it as it's much harder to play, so you don't see that much anymore. All it really did was over clock the interupts so the machine played twice as fast.

The hardware hack was recently emulated in mame if anyone has never seen it.

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