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Pac-Man Guide

Playing Pacman is easy to learn and hard to master (like all classic games). Simply score as many points as you can eating the small dots all around the maze. 10 points per dot (240 of them). Big points come when you eat 1 of the 4 Big flashing dots called Energizers worth 50 points located in each corner of the maze. You can gather a possible 14,600 points for each level, and if you gobble up a few fruits you add to the level. The first fruit, the cherry, gives a small bonus of 100 points, progressing to higher levels like the Key level you can receive as high as 5000 point per fruit eaten. Once you eat an energizer, all the monsters in the maze turn blue and run away from you. At this point you can eat the monsters for points effectively doubling the points from 200 to 1600 per monster you eat. The monsters will only stay blue for a limited time, or until you eat them all. Once you eat a monster it's eyes are the only thing left until they return to the monster bull pin, and the monster regenerates back, comes out of the monster bull pin, and is on the move again though the maze. It is fairly easy to eat all the monsters during the limited time of the Energizer phase, however the more mazes you clear, the shorter the Energizer phase is. Sooner or later at this point, it's a good thing that fruits are worth more points because the monsters start getting so fast that you almost can't even see them turning blue, and even later they do not even reverse at all. Every Pacman attic has a love-hate relationship with the monsters. You've got to eat them for points, however you want to stay far away as long as possible. Serious players will start to understand the personality of each of the monster and use this to their advantage. Once you're read this web page, take a few days to practice up on your newly honed skills. Then challenge your friends to a game of Pacman. You'll amaze them with your skill.

Pac-Man Pattern Theories

In order to go though each level faster and faster, you must form logical and repeatable patterns. The Cherry partner is the first of three logical patterns. If these patterns are followed with accuracy, the Pacman will safely outwit the monsters and get a huge majority of the dots on the maze at the same time. Once you memorize the patterns, you'll be able to relax and play just like a pro. Many people are even seen yawning during the first few levels. The toughest part about running patterns is that fact that you must move your Pacman around following the precise pattern. Failure to follow the pattern without hesitation, can throw the timing off enough to lose the pattern. Certain situations can look like certain death, be brave and run full throttle around ever single corner. To do this you must train yourself to have the joystick already going in the direction that you want to go, a split second before the actual turn. Pacman Pros can't stress this enough.

The Cherry Pattern

The Cherry Pattern - Pac-Man Path Strategy

Pac-Man Cherry PatternStart of by going left. (A) Make sure that you clear the entire bottom row of dots. You can stay out of the danger area if you do this quickly first. If you miss one dot, and have to return it, will blow the entire pattern. (B) Three monsters will be coming at you here. Don't hesitate and make the pattern as quick as possible. (C) Here eat your Energizer, then kill the three monsters running from you. The fourth monster will be running toward the bottom screen. Chase him to kill for 1600 point while he's still blue. (D) Once you've reached this area, you're on your own here. A few monsters will be following you at this point. Eat the top right energizer and kill the monsters. If the monsters stop following you and retreat, clear as many dots as possible on the top part of the screen and head for the energizer on the top left. The monsters will eventually close in, where you can eat the energizer and kill them.

The Mid-Fruit Pattern

The Mid-Fruit Pattern - Pac-Man Path Strategy

Pac-Man Mid-Fruit PatternThe pace picks up at bit here with the second mid fruit pattern. This pattern works with the next three screens. The first will have a strawberry: the second will have peaches. The monsters don't stay blue as long as they did in the first pattern. Point values for eating fruits are going up. The tunnels become more effective as the speeds increase here. Start off going to the left again. (A) Clear the bottom row of dots again, but this time retrace your steps on that bottom row. (B) Again, turning this corner is critical. Do not hesitate. The monsters are charging faster than the first maze. If you're slick, you'll survive. (C) Eat this energizer and kill the three monsters. One will try to escape though the tunnel, go get him before he goes into the tunnel. Then go to the bottom to get the forth monster for that 1600 points before they turn back from blue. (D) Once here, you're on your own once again. The strategy is similar again here. If the monster keeps after you, eat the top right energizer and kill them. If the monsters retreat, eat the dots on the top of the screen and make your way over to the top left.

The Apple Pattern

The Apple Pattern - Pac-Man Path Strategy

Pac-Man Apple PatternThe Apple pattern is the third and final Pacman pattern. If followed correctly, with hesitation, you'll successfully gobble up most of the small dots on the screen before you eat any monsters or energizers. Play these corners to your own style, but keep in mind that the monsters only stay blue for a very limited time now. You might be able to only eat 1-2 before they turn back. Do not get to greedy on eating monsters, your bigger points will come from eating the 2 fruits per level that this pattern will let you get. (A) Unlike the first two patterns, you clear only half the bottom row of dots, and move upward first. (B) at this point you have already been though here, but guide your Pacman down to the corner here, then double back. This is a decoy and will make the monsters slip right on by you. When the coast is clear, you resume the pattern. (C) 2 dots will remain here. Quickly, and we do mean quickly, snatch up these dots, reverse, and continue up. If you lagged previously in the plan, you may not be able to snatch up these dots. If you can do it, it will leave a nice clean maze. (D) If a monster is charging you right at this point, hesitate, and let the monster go past under you. Follow the monster though the tunnel, but do not overtake him. If no monster is approaching, simply follow the plan as show. (E) Go though the tunnel. At this point near 80% of the maze will be clear of dots. The only remaining dots will be conveniently around the energizers. Play each corner with your own style. Shake the joystick to lure the monsters into the energizer trap. Some screens during various levels keep the monsters blue for longer. Make sure you give yourself time needed to eat the monsters while there still blue if your going after them.

Pac-Man Pattern Variations

After Pacman developed a dedicated audience of followers in arcade, people started learning patterns and scoring huge scores while tying up the games for hours. By demand from Arcade owners, Midway came up with some variations in the ROMS, throwing off patterns so that original patterns didn't work anymore. It became evident that Midway had simply switched the orders of the patterns. Combine this with the bootleg roms out there, the general public didn't know what game version you we're playing on. It's important that you figure out which version of Midway game you we're playing on. This can be done by watching the behavior of the monsters first.

Upon the start of the first maze, if the light blue monster "bashful" stays in the monster bull pin, you're on a 1-2-5 machine. This means that the cherry pattern is used during the first maze; the Mid-fruit pattern on the screen 2,3,and 4; and the apple pattern from screens 5 on till your arm falls off. If "Bashful" leaves the monster bull pin and goes stair-step fashion downward to the bottom right part of the screen, you're on a 1-3 design type machine, where the mid-fruit pattern is used on screens 1 and 2, and the apple pattern is used from screen 3 onward until you get throw out of the Arcade. If "Bashful" doesn't behave in any of these ways, most likely your on some type of machine that is a variant, bootleg, or other non-Midway machine. You can try to devise your own plans, but this web page is mostly made up for Midway Original machines.

Tricks, Zones, and Hiding Spots

Tricks, Zones & Hiding Spots - Pac-Man Strategies

(A) and (C) These areas marked in red lines, are areas that have been designated as Danger Zones. These are areas in which you have to remember to spend the least amount of time in as possible. Scoop up the dots as fast as you can, and stay out if at all possible. (B) The tunnel can be used as an effective tool, especially in the higher levels as it slows down monsters going though, and this can buy you a little bit of time if the monsters are hot on your trail. However, do not stay in the tunnel for any amount of time, use it for going though over and over, but don't hang around it or go from side to side to side. The monsters will know what you're doing, and will cut you off.

Whether or not Midway intended it, there's a secret hiding spot in the Pacman maze. This magical spot will keep you safe from all monsters for as long as you like, but only during the cherry and mid-fruit phases. (D) Simple enter this area when the monsters are looking away from you. Once there, the monsters will not be able to see you, and will dart around looking for you in a repetitive pattern. This hiding spot comes in handy for these breaks like going to the bathroom, and getting something to eat.

Fakeouts and Lures are the hallmark of a good Pacman strategy. Although they are ingenious individual techniques, all fake outs build on a basic concept: Misdirection. It is at the heart of every good chase and is what makes Pacman so apealing. Once you've been playing long enough, you'll notice certain patterns that each one of the monsters carry out. In order to catch you, they must corner you. In order to corner you, they have to cooperate jointly. One monster will always pursue you, while others try and think one step ahead, and cut off your routes. This gives you an advantage once you discover that your being set up. By heading toward one direction, you can simple circle around a block in the maze suddenly going in the other direction. Most of the headoff monsters will be sent flying in the wrong direction. Since the monsters usually take their routes, this buys you time in order to pick up more dots usually on the other side of the maze. In certain cases if you are near an energizer and would like the monsters to be close so you can eat them for points, you can get the monsters attention by using the hesitation method right before you eat an energizer. This creates a good lure to bring them close to an Energizer when you eat it.

Finally, be sure to take your time. There's no time limit on finishing a maze up, and the monsters don't get smarter or faster despite what you might here in the game. Treat it as if you have all the time in the world to just go around the maze in some kind of illogical pattern of directions. You'll find that you play much better with this in mind. Make the maximum out of the first levels. Get as many monsters using the energizers as possible, later on this becomes very difficult as the monster don't stay blue very long at all. And finally, don't eat the last dot next to the energizer just yet. Wait for those monsters, eat the energizer, kill the monsters, then go back and get the last dot. But do it after they turn back from blue. I know it looks like you just want to finish off the maze, and get to the next already, but it's easy points right before you finish the level.

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