I discovered this really fun pattern messing around to see if I could charge
through some of the ghosts and not die. Early in the pattern,
Pac-Man passes right through Blinky even though he's not blue. He lives on to
clear the board and gather all 14,800 points. The pattern is also really FAST and
easy to learn. Impress your friends!
Watch it on YouTubeŽ!
The Pac-Man machine in this video is the very one I'm in the process
of restoring. Check the
Pac-Man Restoration link to see the progress.
The Famous Pac-Man "Run-Thru" Bug:
Going through a "live" ghost and not dying would seem to be an impossible occurence. But it
happens occasionally in Pac-Man because of the slow rate at which the PCB
(Printed Circuit Board) processes the game play data.
The software "looks" for collisions based on the character centerpoints occupying
the same square on the board. But it can only do this every 1/60th of a
second--pretty slow by today's computing standards.
When the characters are moving toward each other at just the right speed, the two
centerpoints can wind up swapping places on the board in less than 1/60th of a
second. As far as the game knows, a collision never happened. Think of it like
blinking your eyes 60 times a second--you'll see most things, but you'll miss some.
Most who have played Pac-Man have encountered this bug by accident. Knowing
about it can help a player. Just remember that any time you're in trouble and
about to be eaten anyway, try charging right into the ghost in your way. You never know!
As with the Trick Cherry Pattern above, Mr. Pac takes advantage of the Run-Thru Bug
and slips right through a "live" Inky. Look for it 48 seconds into the video in
the lower right quadrant of the maze. There are other apparent close calls that
make this pattern a lot of fun to use.
Watch it on YouTubeŽ!
Most of my patterens leave the energizers and their surrounding dots
for the end. That way, you can take your time "herding" the ghosts and not worry
about having a lot of dangerous "dot work" afterwards. Developing the ability
to herd ghosts into tight groups is a key in attaining high scores and becoming
a true Pac Master.
This Trick Peach Pattern starts off like the Strawberry Pattern but clears part
of the dots in the upper left quadrant. Mr. Pac gets really close to Inky and
even runs partway through him at the 2nd to last arrow in the figure on the left.
But since the center pixels never cross, he makes it through unscathed to munch on.
Like any good pattern, this one allows you to eat the fruit both times it appears.
Grab yourself a tasty peach, then make a big "T" loop to clear the dots below the
Time to clear the remaining dots at the bottom of the maze. Then head back to
grab the 2nd peach fruit and 500 more points.
This is the part of the pattern where you run through a "live" Inky. He turns
down at the intersection and some may think that's why you didn't die. But if
you watch closely, the centers of the characters pass through each other and the
"Run Through" bug is displayed once again. I use a quick reverse when eating
the two dots that were left at the top of the right alley (double arrows).
From this point on, you'll need to rely on some good "ghost herding" skills to
make sure you eat all four ghosts at each energizer. This will take some practice
but, in time, you'll learn how each ghost behaves, how to use the "hiding places"
and tunnels to maximum advantage.