Pac-Man On Square Pegs!

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Hey Arcaders!

I want to thank each and every one of you for making Pac-Man month better than I could ever imagine. It’s been a blast! Don’t worry- I’ll be keeping up on the Pac-Man articles even though it’s over!

But to end everything on a high note (pun intended) I want to have the last article of Pac-Man month be a great one!

So here’s an episode of a show I grew up with- I think most of the older Arcaders (like me) will remember.

in 1982, a show aired called Square Pegs. It’s a fun romp, showing the different cliques in a high school. one episode in particular had our little yellow friend- and it’s called Pac-Man Fever! Check it out!

Don’t fret- the month may be over- but The Pac-Fun isn’t!

Keep Playin Like It’s 1981!

The Games That Pac-Forgot #3- Pepper II!

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Hey Arcaders!

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!

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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!

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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.

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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!

 

The Games That Pac-Forgot #1… Make Trax!

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Hey Arcaders!

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 first game we’re talking about, is one that is in my top five games of all time-

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Make Trax started it’s life as a maze chaser called Crush Roller. it was developed by  Alpha Denshi and originally published by Kural Samno Electric in Japan. It was also licensed for North American release to Williams Electronics, and in Europe to both Karateco and Exidy.

What makes this game so unique?

You don’t eat dots- you PAINT THE MAZE!

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Make Trax is a maze game in which the player controls a paintbrush and must paint the entire layout in order to advance to the next stage. Two fish – one yellow, the other light-blue – emerge from separate aquariums to pursue the paintbrush around the board, and if either of the fish succeeds in making contact with the paintbrush, the player loses one of three lives.

And unlike the ghosts- the fish can see you wherever you are in the maze. So, they can plan an attack- most of the time cornering you.

It’s a challenge- checkout Youtuber CrazyClimber 80 playing!

 

I love this game. The maze layout, the roller powerups, The hidden WARP HOLES, the sound, and it’s kooky nature keeps me coming back for more! I might even do a Coin Up episode soon…

How about you? Have you ever played Make Trax? Love it? hate it? let me know in the comments!

The Electric Circus- Episode 14: The Pac-man 40th Anniversary Special!!!

Hey Arcaders!

We all know what today is- Pac-Man Day! But- do you remember the first time you saw Pac-Man? was it in the arcade? On the Atari VCS? On a later system? Well, that’s what Josh, Danny, and myself talk about in this episode!

Happy Pac-Man Day… And Keep Playin’ Like It’s 1981!

Pac-Man Day Is Here!!!!!

I can’t believe it! 40 years ago TODAY the yellow one was released to the public- and we were never the same again! And to celibate this momentous occasion, Jerry Buckner- one of the founding fathers of Pac-Man Fever is doing a live stream! let’s join in on the fun!

Pac- Future-Past: Pac-Man 2 The New Adventures!

Hey Arcaders! I really enjoying Pac-Man Month! I hope you are too.

I thought it was a good time to start another series- about the Pac-Man games after the original maze chasers. You see- Namco knew their icon had to evolve. So, I thought- Let’s take a closer look at these games… and see if they keep their Pac-Man feel, but more importantly, is the game good? I thought we would start with one that I remember being so quirky, fun, and so- different- that it was THE PERFECT GAME to start with. Arcaders- I give you…

Pac-Man 2 The New Adventures.

Pac-Man 2: The New Adventures is a graphic adventure game, a vast departure from its predecessors. Players assume the role of Pac-Man as he must carry out different quests given to him by other characters. Many of these involve retrieving a specific item, such as a bottle of milk or a flower. Unlike other adventure games, players cannot control Pac-Man directly, who will wander and interact with the in-game world at his own pace.[2] Instead, players use a slingshot to guide, or “influence”, Pac-Man to his destination or to attract his attention towards a specific object.

In each quest, the player will need to solve puzzles to progress. The solutions to these puzzles are based on Pac-Man’s moods, which differ based on the player’s actions. For example, the player can shoot down an apple from a tree, which Pac-Man will eat and makes him happier, while shooting Pac-Man in the face will make him irritated or depressed. Pac-Man’s moods will also determine how cooperative he becomes; for instance, making Pac-Man too happy will cause him to become smug and cocky, and as a result less willing to follow the orders of the player. Some sections of the game follow Pac-Man riding on a hang glider or in a minecart through “chase” scenes, which require fast-reflexes from the player. Pac-Man may sometimes encounter his enemies Blinky, Pinky, Inky, and Clyde, where he will immediately become frightened and run around the screen. Feeding Pac-Man a Power Pellet, stored in an inventory at the bottom corner of the screen, will transform him into Super Pac-Man and allow him to eat the ghosts. If the player visits the arcade, they can play the original Pac-Man. Finding three game cartridges will allow them to play Ms. Pac-Man in the SNES version, or Pac-Jr. in the Sega Genesis version.-

Wikipedia

My first question was- Pac-Man 2? Where is Pac Man 1? Here is my hypothesis- Pac-Man 1… Was Pac-Land.

Pacland is a very unique scrolling platformer that predated Super Mario Bros in the U.S. by a year! and we will be getting to this game soon!

Back to Pac-Man 2- It’s a point and click adventure. So, you don’t control Pac-Man, you make him look, or hit an object (or him) and get his attention and make him react.

The best part- was Pac-Man’s emotions. He could be happy, sad, hungry, scared, mad, and more! Check them out!

Enough talk- lets look at the game!

What did you think Pac-Man 2: The New Adventures? Did you love it? Hate It? Never knew it existed? Let Me know in the comments!

Keep Playin’ Like It’s 1981!

Pac-ommercial – Arby’s Pac-Man Glasses!

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Hey Arcaders!

Anyone who knows me- knows my favorite fast food restaurant, hands down is Arbys.

#12-make it a double, Curly fries OR potato cakes (depends on my mood), large Coke no ice. That’s what I order.

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Come on- Ya’ know ya’ want one.

But- one of the things at Arby’s I always wanted-

Was the Pac-Man glass.

There was a time when fast food restaurants would do “collector series” glasses.

like the Burger King Star Wars glasses-

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But- the Pac-Man glass was special. There was only one.

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Don’t try using the coupons- I think they expired.

They must have made MILLIONS of these glasses- they were everywhere!

Check out the Pac-Tastic commercial for it!

And guess what?

I still have mine!

 

 

 

 

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Did you ever get YOUR Pac-Man Glass? let me know in the comments!

Keep Playin’ Like It’s 1981!

Pac-ommercial – The Pac-Man Cafe!

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Hey Arcaders!

I hope you guys are enjoying Pac-Man Month as much as I am! Today’s Pac-commercial is something special to me. Being a local in the Central Florida area, the was one restaurant that stood out for me- and I loved going to. The Pac-Man Cafe!

 

The Pac-Man Cafe was awesome. Unfortunately- It didn’t last long. But, I’m getting ahead  of myself.

Pac-Man Cafe started life as another arcade- XS Orlando.

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Pointe Orlando opened in 1998. It is still open today- but is missing the panache of it’s early years. It’s hard to compete with things like-

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FAO Schwartz.  Biggest toy store in Orlando.

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MUVICO Theater- First movie Theater in Orlando with IMAX!

Along with XS, It was quite a fun day.

Then, one day (around 2002, I believe) XS- closed.

I remember seeing an ad in the paper for Pac- Man Cafe- which conveniently , was in the old XS location. I went- and I wasn’t disappointed!

Here’s a flier from Pac-Man Cafe!

When you entered, you were greeted by this happy fella-

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And once inside- they had a full service restaurant- where the specialty was the Pac-Pizza… with the first piece missing! Then, you could go over to the Galaga Bar to have a drink! The main arcade we upstairs, but the fun was at the Retro Arcade on the first floor! It had all the classic games you could remember- plus a few you didn’t! Add to that the Pac-Museum, It was the best time in Orlando next to Disneyquest!

But, in 2005- it was gone. Why? I had heard that the rent went up at Pointe Orlando. Also, Namco was slowly closing their arcade division in the U.S., – so, it was a sad time in my household- we went every weekend. Now Pointe  Orlando has Main Event, and Arcade city- but they pale in comparison.

Now- there seems to be a resurgence in the Pac-Man Cafe idea… Check this out-

These seem to be pop up locations- there has been some in Shanghai, and Hawaii. Let’s hope they do more!

What do you think of the Pac-Man Cafe? Did you ever get to go? Let me know in the comments!

Keep Playin’ Like It’s 1981!

And Stay tuned for MORE Pac-Goodness!

Pac-Man and The Ghostly Adventures Series Review: A Pac-Man Month Special

Reviewed by Joshua Jordan

Pacopolis is under constant attack by an army of ghost from the Netherworld and there’s only on yellow hero who can stop them, Pac-Man! Along with his friends Spiral and Cylindria and a slew of other allies Pac will have to face off against Lord Betrayus and his underlings to save the city and quite possibly all of PacWorld from certain doom.

Pac-Man and The Ghostly Adventures is a very interesting example in how to have a good foundation of a story but not use that foundation to an advantage. On the positive side this animated series looked pretty good. It had imaginative world that looked both colorful and bright but also used iconography from the real Pac-Man games as intricate designs for everything from the streets to the buildings. Another thing I enjoyed about the show is Pac-Man’s powers. I like how he eats different berries to gain different abilities and I also liked that his friends could eat them too but the berries effected them differently than Pac-Man. All of Pac-Man’s transformations look pretty cool even if they kind of looked like another round video game character named Kirby. One of the more unique aspects of show was a really good set up for the characters with compelling backstories that took a lot of great liberties that could have led to attention grabbing storytelling.

The negative side of Ghostly adventures is a lot of wasted potential. Something that could have been great but turned out not so much. The biggest problem I have with the show is that it never reaches its full potential story wise. Instead of building on the wonderful foundation that the creators of the show made with compelling backstories that could had led to potentially fascinating episodes. They almost completely ignore it and only refer to it occasionally. Another example is the humor. There is a lot of good jokes in this show that made me laugh. My problem is when they start focusing heavily on burp and fart jokes that over stay their welcome. Another good example of wasted potential is the animation. While the animation looks good at times the lip sync isn’t right and most of the time breaks the illusion. Finally, and I know this might seem like a minor gripe but the theme song isn’t good. A lot of shows have great theme songs that either set up the premise of the show or are such a great ear worm that you can consistently hum it to yourself. However Ghostly Adventures doesn’t have one, in fact, it seems like the theme was either thrown together quickly or edited so poorly that it just doesn’t work. So much so that I just tried to skip the theme song every time so I didn’t have to hear it. The Pac-Man games all have a wealth of amazing music and it would have been so much better if they’d just used one iconic tracks and just gave it a remix. As you can see Ghostly Adventures has a ton of wasted potential that stops it from being great.

Is Pac-Man and The Ghostly Adventures worth watching? If you’re a very young kid like five or six years old, the answer is yes. The colorful world and characters are enough to grab any young kid’s attention. For older kids and adults however I can’t really recommend it. Which is sad because of the potential you can see in the show. A potential that could have reached a wider audience with its story and characters. If you want to check it for yourself out the easiest way is to stream it on Netflix or watch it the reruns on Discovery Kids. There are better shows out there that masterfully bridge that gap between kids and adults but Pac-Man and The Ghostly Adventures isn’t one of them.

Series Review Score: C+