名称和基本概念到位后，岩谷彻正式启动项目。南宫梦分配给岩谷彻开发《吃豆人》的团队包含一名程序员、一名硬件工程师、一名美工和一名作曲师。项目于1979年初启动。在这一年中，岩谷彻还设计了两款以弹珠机为主题的新游戏——《Bomb Bee》和《Cutie Q》，这两款游戏都是在《吃豆人》还在开发时发布的。这两款游戏与《Gee Bee》都类似，但玩法上增加了，画面也改善了。
30多年以后，《吃豆人》仍然是史上销量最好的投币游戏。吃豆人在美国仍然被认为是辨识度最高的游戏角色。它的外观已经被授权给250多个公司，出现在超过400种产品中。他的名字被商业圈用于形容守势的公司反而吞并更大的公司，即“Pac-Man defense”。在华盛顿的Smithsonian 博物院甚至还有一台用于展示的《吃豆人》机子。
对这款原版投币游戏的热情从未完全消退。多亏了南宫梦再次把《吃豆人》和其他经典街机游戏放进现代家用游戏机中，新一代《吃豆人》玩家才有机会玩到这款年纪比他们本人还大的游戏。因为家用电脑能够使用高级街机模拟器（如MAME）来复制街机ROM芯片，100%复原游戏，许多经典游戏才得以保持生命力。还有若干网站存有关于原版《吃豆人》街机游戏的信息，如Wikipedia和Killer List Of Video Games。（本文为游戏邦/gamerboom.com编译，拒绝任何不保留版权的转载，如需转载请联系：游戏邦）
The Pac-Man Dossier
by Jamey Pittman
Welcome to The Pac-Man Dossier! This web page is dedicated to providing Pac-Man players of all skill levels with the most complete and detailed study of the game possible. New discoveries found during the research for this page have allowed for the clearest view yet of the actual ghost behavior and pathfinding logic used by the game. Laid out in hyperlinked chapters and sections, the dossier is easy to navigate using the Table of Contents below, or you can read it in linear fashion from top-to-bottom. Chapter 1 is purely the backstory of Namco and Pac-Man’s designer, Toru Iwatani, chronicling the development cycle and release of the arcade classic. If you want to get right to the technical portions of the document, however, feel free to skip ahead to Chapter 2 and start reading there. Chapter 3 and Chapter 4 are dedicated to explaining pathfinding logic and discussions of unique ghost behavior. Chapter 5 is dedicated to the “split screen” level, and several Appendices follow, offering reference tables, an easter egg, vintage guides, a glossary, and more. Lastly, if you are unable to find what you’re looking for or something seems unclear in the text, please feel free to contact me (email@example.com) and ask!
If you enjoy the information presented on this website, please consider contributing a small donation to support it and defray the time/maintenance costs associated with keeping it online and updated. Donations can be made safely and securely via PayPal by clicking the “Donate” button below. You can also make a small contribution (at no cost to you whatsoever) by simply clicking on one or more of the advertisement banners. Your support is greatly appreciated!
In 1999, Billy Mitchell of Hollywood, Florida became the first person to obtain a perfect score of 3,333,360 at Pac-Man, eating every possible dot, energizer, ghost, and bonus on every level without losing a single life in the process. But perhaps what is most amazing is the fact he can play without using any memorized routines widely known as “patterns”. Instead, he relies on his familiarity with how each ghost behaves as it moves through the maze, using that knowledge to keep Pac-Man one step ahead of his enemies at all times.
Unlike Mitchell, most players are only able to rack up high scores with the aid of multiple patterns that take advantage of the game’s deterministic nature. These patterns require perfect memorization and recall to be of any real use—a single hesitation or wrong turn during execution can make the remainder of a pattern useless. Not surprisingly, an over-reliance on these routines leaves many a player clueless as to how to effectively avoid the ghosts and finish off the remaining dots in the higher levels once a mistake occurs.
Most Pac-Man strategy guides available online today are very similar in content to the books that were sold back in the early 80s: a summary of gameplay and scoring is provided first, followed by a list of patterns to be memorized by the reader, but very little insight is offered on how the game works or how the ghosts make decisions. Therefore, the purpose of this guide is to give the player a better understanding of Pac-Man without the use of patterns by taking a closer look at gameplay, maze logic, ghost personalities, and the mysterious “split screen” level. I can’t promise that you’ll play as well as Billy Mitchell after reading this guide, but you will definitely feel much better about recovering from a mistake in your ninth key pattern once you have a good understanding of how the ghosts “think”.
All information provided has been extracted from or verified with disassembly output from the original Pac-Man code ROMs in conjunction with extensive testing and observations made during gameplay. As such, I am highly confident in the accuracy of this document. That being said, if you notice an error or omission, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org so it can be corrected as soon as possible. Hopefully you will find this material as interesting and useful as I did for gaining a better understanding of this classic arcade title.
Special thanks to Don Hodges (www.donhodges.com) whose invaluable contributions to this guide can be found in every chapter.
Welcome To The Machine
“I don’t have any particular interest in [computers]. I’m interested in creating images that communicate with people. A computer is not the only medium that uses images; I could use the movies or television or any other visual medium. It just so happens I use the computer.”—Toru Iwatani
It was 1977 when a self-taught, capable young man named Toru Iwatani came to work for Namco Limited, a Tokyo-based amusement manufacturer whose main product lines at the time were projection-based amusement rides and light gun shooting galleries. He was just 22 years old with no formal training in computers, visual arts, or graphic design, but his creativity and aptitude for game design were obvious to the Namco executives that met with Iwatani. They offered to hire him—with assurances they would find a place for him in the company—and he accepted.
Iwatani eventually found his place designing titles for Namco’s new video games division. His limited computer skills necessitated his being paired with a programmer who would write the actual code while Iwatani took on the role of game designer for the project. This was a new job for the game industry in 1977 when most games were designed by the programmers who coded them. In addition to a programmer, Iwatani’s team would usually include a hardware engineer to develop the various devices and components, a graphic artist to realize his visual ideas, and a music composer for any music and sound effects needed in the game.
Iwatani had initially wanted to work on pinball machines, but Namco had no interest in the pinball business. Perhaps as a concession, his first game design, called Gee Bee, was a paddle game similar to Atari’s Breakout but with a decidedly pinball-inspired slant to the gameplay. Released in 1978, it was Namco’s first original video game—they had only ported existing Atari games to the Japanese market up to this point—and it enjoyed moderate success in the arcades.
But the paddle games were losing ground fast to a new genre. The unprecedented success of Taito’s Space Invaders in 1978 caused an industry-wide shift toward space-themed, shoot-’em-up games (as well as a national coin shortage in Japan). Game manufacturers scrambled to match Taito’s success with space shooters of their own. Namco was quick to follow suit, assigning a team to start work on a Space Invaders clone at once. It was around this time that Toru Iwatani began thinking about designing a different kind of game. He felt the shoot-’em-up craze was destined to fade away like the paddle games before them. Rather than make another space shooter, Toru wanted to take his game design in a completely new direction that did not focus on violence or conflict, and would appeal to both male and female audiences.
He took inspiration from a children’s story about a creature that protected children from monsters by eating them. One of Iwatani’s design methods included taking key words associated with a story to aid in developing his ideas. The kanji word taberu (“to eat”), became the premise for the game. The word kuchi (“mouth”) has a square shape for its kanji symbol and provided the inspiration for the game’s main character—the better-known legend of Iwatani receiving his inspiration from a pizza pie with a slice missing was, by his own admission, not entirely correct:
“Well, it’s half true. In Japanese the character for mouth (kuchi) is a square shape. It’s not circular like the pizza, but I decided to round it out. There was the temptation to make the Pac-Man shape less simple. While I was designing this game, someone suggested we add eyes. But we eventually discarded that idea because once we added eyes, we would want to add glasses and maybe a moustache. There would just be no end to it. Food is the other part of the basic concept. In my initial design, I had put the player in the midst of food all over the screen. As I thought about it, I realized the player wouldn’t know exactly what to do: the purpose of the game would be obscure. So I created a maze and put the food in it. Then whoever played the game would have some structure by moving through the maze. The Japanese have a slang word—paku paku—they use to describe the motion of the mouth opening and closing while one eats. The name Puck-Man came from that word.”
The monsters from the children’s story were included as four ghosts that chase the player through the maze, providing an element of tension. Attacks on the player were designed to come in waves (similar to Space Invaders) as opposed to an endless assault, and each ghost was given an unique personality and character. The children’s story also included the concept of kokoro (“spirit”) or a life force used by the creature that allowed him to eat the monsters. Toru incorporated this aspect of the story as four edible power pellets in the maze that turn the tables on the ghosts, making them vulnerable to being eaten by the player.
With a name and a basic design in place, Iwatani was ready to begin work. The team Namco assigned Iwatani to bring Puck-Man to life included a programmer (Shigeo Funaki), a hardware engineer, a cabinet designer, and a music composer (Toshio Kai). Development got underway in early 1979. In the course of that year, two new pinball-themed designs from Iwatani—Bomb Bee and Cutie Q—were both released during Puck-Man’s development cycle. Both games were similar to Gee Bee but with stronger gameplay and improved visuals.
The Namco team working on the Space Invaders clone for the past several months had just achieved a technological coup for Namco: the first game to use a true, multi-colored, RGB display instead of the monochrome monitors with colored cellophane tape so prevalent at the time. Thanks to the breakthrough of the other team, Iwatani now had the new promise of color to enhance his design. Mindful that he wanted the game to appeal to women, he immediately decided to use it on the ghosts, choosing pastel shades for the bodies and adding expressive, blue eyes. Dark blue was used for the maze itself, while Puck-Man was drenched in a brilliant yellow.
The look and feel of Puck-Man continued to evolve for over a year. A large amount of time and effort was put into developing the ghosts unique movement patterns through the maze and tweaking the game difficulty variables as boards were cleared. Bonus symbols (including the Galaxian flagship) were added into the mix at some point, and the ghosts were finally given names: Akabei, Pinky, Aosuke, and Guzuta. Sound effects and music were some of the final touches added as development neared an end along with constant tweaking of the ghosts’ behavior.
Puck-Man’s creation was a year and five months in the making—the longest ever for a video game to that point. Finally, on May 22nd, 1980, it was released to arcades in Japan. Initially, the game did moderately well, but was no overnight sensation. In fact, Namco’s multi-colored Space Invaders clone, called Galaxian, was much more popular with the gaming public—the predominately male, game-playing audience in Japan was unsure what to make of Puck-Man with its cartoon-like characters, maze, and pastel colors, whereas Galaxian was more immediately familiar to them with its shoot-’em-up space theme.
Midway was a distributor of coin-operated video games in the U.S. that was always looking for the next big hit from Japan to license and bring to America. They opted for both Puck-Man and Galaxian, modifying the cabinets and artwork to make them easier to manufacture as well as providing a more American look and feel.
Puck-Man went through the majority of the changes: the cabinet was modified slightly, changing the color from white to a bright yellow to make it stand out in the arcade. The detailed, multi-colored cabinet artwork was replaced with cheaper-to-produce, three-color artwork illustrating an iconic representation of Puck-Man (now drawn with eyes and feet) and one blue ghost. English names were given to the ghosts (Blinky, Pinky, Inky, and Clyde), and the Namco title was changed to Midway. The most significant change to Puck-Man was the name. Midway feared it would be too easy for nasty-minded vandals to change the P in Puck-Man to an F, creating an unsavory epithet. Not wanting their product associated with this word, Midway renamed the game Pac-Man before releasing it to American arcades in October 1980.
But the situation in America was reversed from Japan for these two titles. Galaxian got lost in the shuffle of the shoot-’em-up craze that blanketed America’s arcades and, by the fall of 1980, it was already competing with more advanced video games like Defender. In the end, Galaxian enjoyed moderate success in America and in Japan, but was never the smash hit the original Space Invaders was. Pac-Man was another story. There were no games to compare it to—it was in a genre all by itself. The bright yellow cabinet, visuals, and sounds drew a great deal of attention. No one had seen a game quite like this before. The addictive gameplay and challenge of increasing levels of difficulty kept the die-hard gamers more than happy, while the simplicity of the game appealed to younger children. The lack of war-like motifs and violence did as Iwatani had hoped and attracted a sizable female audience—a first for a video game. Even the parents wary of the violence-themed arcade games had no problem with their kids playing as cute and innocuous a game as Pac-Man.
Pac-Man went on to capture the world’s imagination like nothing before or since. It was a genuine phenomenon on a global scale, selling over 100,000 machines in its first year alone. Easy to learn but notoriously difficult to master, everyone from school children to Wall Street executives dropped quarter after quarter into an ever-increasing number of waiting Pac-Man machines. By 1982, Pac-Man merchandise was literally everywhere: t-shirts, hats, keychains, wrist bands, bedsheets, air fresheners, wall clocks, drinking glasses, trading cards, stickers, cereal boxes, comic books—even a Saturday morning cartoon. A novelty song called “Pac-Man Fever” received significant radio play, reaching number nine on the U.S. Billboard charts. Many books were written offering tips and tricks used by the best players to achieve high scores—the first-ever strategy guides published for a video game.
More than thirty years later, Pac-Man remains the best-selling coin-operated video game in history. Still considered the most widely-recognized video game character in the U.S., his likeness has been licensed to over 250 companies for over 400 products. His namesake has been adopted by the business world to describe a way to defend against a hostile takeover (the defending company swallows up the larger company instead in a move known as the “Pac-Man defense”). There is even an upright Pac-Man machine on display at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.
Interest in the original coin-op title has never completely faded. Thanks to Namco’s re-release of Pac-Man and other arcade classics for modern home consoles, new generations of Pac-addicts have worn their hands out playing a game often older than themselves. Many classic titles are also kept alive thanks to the advent of high-quality arcade emulators available for the home computer (like MAME) that use a software copy of the arcade ROM chips to recreate the game with 100% accuracy. Several web pages with information about the original Pac-Man arcade game can be found online including Wikipedia and the Killer List Of Video Games.(source:home.comcast)