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Ms. Pac-Man tips?

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I'll be totally honest here, I suck at Ms. Pac-Man. It's probably my second favorite arcade game of all time, I've been playing it constantly on my multicade for the better part of a year, and no matter how many different maze routes I try or what I do I've never been able to top 40,000 points. I can make it to the first bananna stage every now and then, but most of the time I end up losing all my lives on the apple stage since I just can't seem to outwit those blasted ghosts!


At this point I kinda feel like no matter how many times I play Ms. Pac-Man I'm never going to improve on my own, so I'm asking for some advice. Anyone have any tips to offer that might help me start posting some better scores?

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Are you playing at normal (slow) speed, or other turbo (fast)? I usually get about 100,000 to 120,000 on an average game set on fast. I suck and hate the slow speed. I just call the slow version Just-Shoot-Me-Man.


Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G935A using Tapatalk

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1) Eat as many dots as possible while avoiding the ghosts.


2) Only eat a power pellet when you're in a jam.


3) Maximize points by waiting to eat a power pellet when several ghosts are nearby.


4) Grab as many prizes as you can.


Memorizing patterns is for cheaters! R U a cHeAtEr? :rolling:

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  • 2 weeks later...

A few tips I've figured out (I go in depth in this in my blog in various places):


- Position yourself near a tunnel before a fruit (remember, a pretzel is a fruit!) comes out so you can grab it right away. The first one, depending on the machine, will come out after you eat a combination of dots and/or energizers totally around 67 to 72. The second one will come out after the next 100. This is tricky to do in the second maze, though, because the two sets of tunnels are so far apart; very hit-or-miss.


- Easily one of the more common causes of losing a life is chasing the monsters for too long. Know when to stop chasing the monsters. When they start alternating between blue and white, stop chasing the ghosts after eight color changes; four in some levels.


- The monsters always go to the LEFT when they exit the pen in the middle, but be careful -- as you probably noticed, periodically they suddenly change directions, and it could be just at the moment when they emerge from the pen.


- In the third maze, clear out that inverted T-shaped island below you IMMEDIATELY. When the level starts, only one or two monsters will be wandering the maze, but if you wait too long, all four will be out and very likely will trap you there. So clear that area immediately when the level starts and do not go back into it.


- If you're trapped between two monsters, just keep on going; don't backtrack. You might encounter that little glitch that allows you to pass right through. (There's a video on YouTube of Billy Mitchell doing that intentionally. Onlookers who were watching him were astonished and asked how he did that. He smiled and said, "I'm Billy Mitchell." :) )


- Learn to count the levels so you know when the monsters change colors eight times versus four times versus none at all. Little hint for you: if the machine you're playing is set to normal difficulty, if you're good enough to get this far in the game, you will see an orchid-colored version of the pear/banana maze. Count the number of times you clear it. When you see that maze the fourth time, the monsters will NOT be edible -- eating an energizer will only cause them to reverse. The next maze you get after that will be the fourth maze (the one with the sideways T intersections that form tunnels) with the color scheme of the first maze -- the first time you see that version of the maze, you can once again eat the monsters, but after you clear that maze, that's it: they're invulnerable for the rest of the game.

Edited by Dauber
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Ms pac Man...I used to love that game.

I don't remember my record, but I could get -if I recall, to the "Third" Junior cartoon, before the game simply became impossible. I might have reached the 4th Junior ONCE, but it was so long ago I can't remember anymore.

On the "second" junior, where the maze turns into stage 3 again, the monsters stop becoming vulnerable when you eat a power pill, and would just reverse direction.


a few stages later, the pac-man's speed would be reduced to beginning speed (e.g. level 1) while the ghosts remain moving at full speed.
This, combined with the random start patterns, would make the game completely unbeatable as you would have absoliutely no way to live.


You could pass the duplicated stage 3 junior, with the slow move speed and no energizers, due to the "safe" area right below the tunnel, where the monsters come out through it and are unable to move downwards at the first path, if you hugged the tunnel and slowly creeped to eat the dots and try to lure the monsters into going the wrong way and looping around, but on the duplicated stage 4's, there was not much you could do to avoid the too fast ghosts, for very long.


Getting to that point however is not too difficult.


1) the red monster always moves towards you. Sometimes you can abuse that and make him take a path that leads to a dead end.

2) the pink monster always tries to cut you off, by moving in the SAME direction you are moving, once he is within 1 ghost distance from you. If you are moving directly at him and there is an intersection, depending on which way you are approaching him, he will to change direction because he sees you moving in the opposite direction he is going. You can abuse that extremely well. Depending on the direction and intersection, you can make him run away from you by going at him.


Note: if he is moving UP and you are approaching from the left, going right, and he can NOT move right to match your movement, he will move left instead, killing you. However if he is moving up and you are approaching from the RIGHT, moving left, and he cannot go left, he will continue moving up past you. A mirror instance of this is if he is moving left and you are approaching underneath him, moving up, compared to him moving right and you are approaching underneath him moving up. One method is safe, one isn't.


3) The blue monster randomly takes on the property of any of the other three remaining monsters. Often, but not always, he will take on the property of the monster closest to him. Sometimes he takes on a property of Sue (the brown/tan monster) instead of moving towards the bottom left corner, he may go towards bottom right or top right, when you are close to him, moving towards him.


4) the brown (Sue) monster will try to get close to the player, but once a certain closest is reached, Sue will ALWAYS attempt to go towards the bottom left corner, regardless of what anyone else is doing. this is the most exploitable monster.

Edited by Falkentyne
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  • 11 months later...

I've noticed this happens to the monsters whenever I play Ms. Pac-Man,


Cherry: Blinky and Pinky always go towards the loop on the top right and continue from there.

Strawberry: Inky does the same but with the bottom right loop.


it's quite minor, but really helpful.


(DISCLAIMER: I follow a route that I figured out, so I don't know if that is what causes the above)

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The monsters go into different "modes" during the game. This is signified when they "reverse" directions. I'll call them "chase" and "retreat" modes. Watch the ghosts behaviors. They always start out in "retreat" mode at the beginning of a level. Each ghost goes to a corner of the board. When they "reverse" the first time, they switch into "chase mode" where they close in on you. After a while, they will reverse direction again and go back to their respective corners. They always go to the same corners of the maze:


Top Left: Pinky

Top Right: Blinky

Bottom Right: Inky

Bottom Left: Clyde/Sue


As you progress through the level, the chase/retreat modes shorten and they become more aggressive. I don't know exact times, but once I learned these behaviors, I was able to improve my scores quite a bit.


Learning to control when the fruits come out can help your score. They come out after you've eaten a determined number of dots. So, try to get the fruits to come out while the ghosts are in retreat mode and it will be easier to gobble them up.


Hope this helps you out. :)

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Things to know about the Monsters in Ms. Pac-Man (other variants act slightly differently):


  • In the first 5-7 seconds on the board (depending on the level) Blinky (Red) and Pinky (Pink) move in 'random' directions. Inky (Aqua) and Clyde(Gold) still go to their respective corners as in Pac-Man
  • The 'reversal' in Ms. Pac-Man is not the same as it was in Pac-Man. In Ms. Pac-Man, they just reverse direction, but remain in 'chase' mode. The only 'scatter' mode (where they go to their 'home' corners) happens in the very beginning of the level.
  • The 'goals' for each monster:
    - Red: Goal is always the player's position
    - Pink: Goal is always 4 dots ahead of the player, except when moving up, where due to a programming bug the goal is 4 dots ahead AND 4 dots left of the player
    - Aqua: Difficult to explain in a single sentence... From "The Pac-Man Dossier...": Inky uses the most complex targeting scheme of the four ghosts in chase mode. He needs Pac-Man's current tile/orientation and Blinky's current tile to calculate his final target. To envision Inky's target, imagine an intermediate offset two tiles away from Pac-Man's tile in the direction Pac-Man is moving, then draw a line from Blinky's tile to that offset. Now double the line length by extending the line out just as far again, and you will have Inky's target tile.
    - Clyde / Sue: Goal is the player (like Blinky's), unless this monster is less than 8 dots away from Pac-Man. In that case, the goal in the 'home' corner (i.e. bottom left).
  • One thing to note is *ALL MONSTERS MOVE THE SAME SPEED* - with the exception of Blinky late in the round. Once you are a certain number of dots away from finishing the level, Blinky becomes the same speed as Pac-Man, and then actually FASTER than Pac-Man the closer you get to the end of the level. This number of dots from the end of the level when Blinky speeds up increases as you progress.


For a much more detailed explanation, please see the EXCELLENT document "The Pac-Man Dossier", keeping in mind that the first two points I made above are different in Ms. Pac-Man as they are in Pac-Man: http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/3938/the_pacman_dossier.php?print=1



Edited by PacManPlus
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