In the early days after Pac-Man was released to the world, there were a lot of arcade and home console companies that wanted in on the Pac-profit! This series will focus on these lesser known games. weather it’s an original game, or a Pac-bootleg, we will be touching base with these games that Pac-forgot!
The next one is one is a golden age Maze game it it’s finest- Pepper II!
Pepper II was designed and manufactured in 1982 by Exidy- a company known for games like Death Race, Fax, Crossbow, and a game that’s in one of my favorite movies- Star Fire!
Ok- let’s get this question out of the way- This isn’t a sequel. There wasn’t a Pepper I. Originally, The game was called Zipper. but a higher up at Exidy didn’t like the name. The story goes- he looked at a packet of pepper on a table in the lunchroom and said… “How about Pepper?” The name stuck. The “II” comes from the two personalities your character has.
The character “Pepper” is an angel. There are two types of enemies that must be avoided: Roaming Eyes and the Whippersnapper who unzips all uncompleted, zipped segments by moving over them. Pepper’s one defense is to enclose an area containing a pitchfork, which turns him into a demon “Pepper II” for approximately four seconds. At that time he can go after all Roaming Eyes for points while the Whippersnapper freezes. There are four pitchforks in the corners of every maze. A deluxe energizer is located in the center of each maze. This energizer alternates between being a pitchfork and a halo symbol. If Pepper encloses the middle area when the energizer is a halo, the Whippersnapper disappears from the maze.
Points are made for enclosing a segment, consuming a pair of roaming eyes when energized by the pitchfork (similar to Pac-Man), obtaining prizes, completing a maze, and completing 4 mazes. A bonus turn is awarded at 40,000, 50,000, 70,000 or 90,000 points, depending on the dip switch settings. When a full screen (of the four) has been completely filled, “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” is briefly heard.
Let’s talk about those mazes. there’s four of them. And they’re all connected.
Each maze has exits leading to three other mazes. All four mazes must be filled to advance to the next level. To fill in a maze, the player maneuvers “Pepper” around different segments of the maze. As Pepper travels, he leaves a “zipper”. Once he encloses or “zips” a segment, it fills in and points are awarded. If Pepper backtracks on an uncompleted segment, it unzips.
Fun Fact- the intro music is Gounod’s “Funeral March of a Marionette” or as most people that frequented Universal Studios Florida know it- the intro song to “Alfred Hitchcock Presents.”
Hey- why don’t we watch this wonderfully crazy game in action, shall we?
This is a fun game but it ramps up quickly!
Extra fun fact- There was a version made for the completely awesome Colecovision system- Check it out!
However you can play this game- give it a shot- you’ll love it!
Keep Playin’ Like It’s 1981!