Retro Videogame Mystery Minis - Pac-Man/Ms. Pac-Man

Since Ms. Pac-Man was designed as an add-on kit (proving that "third party" existed long before Transformers), every Ms. Pac-Man arcade cabinet was really a Pac-Man machine with an extra set of computer chips plugged in. The cabinet (and thus the boxes for these Mystery Minis) was blue with pink and yellow art. Ms. Pac-Man's mazes weren't the same as the original game's, and there was more than one layout. Plus, since the game could handle six moving objects at once, the bonus fruits bounced around the screen rather than sitting in one spot. And finally, since "Crazy Otto's" creators were originally trying to avoid infringing on Namco's trademarks at all, the game even has its own original sound effects.

Though this figure is identified on the back of the box as "Ms. Pac-Man Ghost," it's clearly Pinky. The orange ghost was known as Clyde in the original game and as Sue in the sequel, but Pinky is always Pinky. Except when he's (she's?) "Speedy," or Machibuse ("Ambusher"). That name comes from the original's AI directive, which was to always head for a spot four dots in front of Pac-Man's current facing. Ms. Pac-Man changed the ghost behavior so it wasn't as predictable, because that would increase the chances of a player dying and having to insert a new quarter.

Pinky has the same pose as Blinky, but it's not the same mold: this one has no wrinkles, and gets a button nose. The hands are now the same color as the sheet, and the style of the face is entirely different - more ornate. Pinky's mouth is open, showing a tongue and some teeth along the top, and the big cartoony eyes rest under arched eyebrows. The image on the back of the box depicts Pinky with angry eyebrows instead. And also a lighter shade of pink, rather than this vibrant magenta. It's a shame the ghosts don't have any kind of clear stand to make them hover, so they have to permanently sit on the ground.

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3 Responses to Retro Videogame Mystery Minis - Pac-Man/Ms. Pac-Man

  1. Jackie (a Pac-Man fanatic) says:

    I just wanted to say that you got some false information in this. That is NOT the original arcade art for PuckMan. That is actually art for a bootleg version of PuckMan, so it is unofficial. The OFFICIAL PuckMan artwork uses the design seen in this Mystery Mini. (With some small differences, like a longer nose and smaller feet.) This design was used in all official Japanese artwork and merchandise for Pac-Man throughout the 80s, and also appeared in-game for official games. Starting with Pac-Land, and continued to be used in Hello! Pac-Man, Pac-in-Time, and most famously the Pac-Man World trilogy. This design also recently appeared in Super Smash Bros. So, this design for Pac-Man existed and has been used long before his 25th anniversary logo, as well as being around since the first game. (and before his name was finalized) So yeah, that creepy pink-lipped green-footed PuckMan is just an unofficial bootleg. Here is the official art.

  2. Jackie (a Pac-Man fanatic) says:

    No problem! I’m always happy to share information on Pac-Man. I’ll also share something interesting about the enemies. While they were originally called monsters, the ghost name originated from the Atari 2600 version as a way to cover up the sprite flickering. The ghost thing was eventually adopted by Namco, starting with Pac-Man 2: The New Adventures. However, for a while they sorta went back and fourth between calling them ghosts or monsters, until they eventually just decided to stick with callimg them ghosts in around the early 2000s. This is especially apparent in the reboot series Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures, where it is explicitly explained that the ghosts are actual spirits of dead pac-people. Also, the reason Pinky is listed as “Ms. Pac-Man Ghost” and has a different art style is because it’s based on the ghost seen on the Ms. Pac-Man arcade artwork from Midway, same for Ms. Pac-Man herself. (although her design is sort of a combination of her Midway design and her official Namco design) Blinky just looks like he does in most games, hence why he’s just listed with his name.

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