Sunday, October 29, 2006

Ms. Pac-Man Trivia

A Ms. Pac-Man machine has a storyline based around it in the Friends episode The One Where Joey Dates Rachel. The plotline revolves around Chandler entering rude words onto the game's high-score screen and then attempting to beat his scores (thus removing them) before Ross's seven year old son arrives. In reality, Ms. Pac-Man doesn't have a high-score screen, displaying only the single best score, and the game doesn't allow players to enter their initials.
In one series of strips in Bill Amend's popular newspaper comic strip FoxTrot, Jason Fox, who is in fifth grade and still detests girls, has a nightmare in which he is romanced by Tomb Raider heroine Lara Croft. In one of these strips, Lara keeps trying to persuade Jason to play her game, and Jason declares that he'll never play a video game starring a girl. At this point, Lara says, "Permit me to reintroduce you to someone," and Ms. Pac-Man appears: "Hi, Jason. Remember me?"
A Ms. Pac-Man unit appears in the 1983 movie "WarGames", in the 1983 movie "Joysticks", in the 1984 movie "Tightrope" (the cabinet appears in the background of the bar scene), in the 1990 movie "The Grifters", in the 1999 movie "Man On The Moon" and in the 2002 movie "Van Wilder".
A Ms. Pac-man machine is seen in Scrubs in the episode My Own Private Practice Guy. Todd comments "Oh Ms. Pac-man I would sex that bow right off your head. Eat those dots you naughty, naughty girl."
The Ms. Pac-Man world record of 933,580 points was achieved by Abdner Ashman, of Queens, NY, on Thursday, April 6, 2006 at the Apollo Amusements showroom in Pompano Beach, FL, as verified by official referees from the Twin Galaxies Intergalactic Scoreboard, who were present to witness the accomplishment.
Some versions of the game had an "expert" level, where if you hold the joystick up while pressing the start button, the whole game speed doubled (including music and sound effects). Others have Ms. Pac-Man going twice her speed while the rest of the game went normal speed. The latter allowed for people to obtain much higher scores.
Many people have mistakenly called the game Mrs. Pac Man, which can upset many a video game purist.
In the 1980's cartoon version of Pac-Man, she was named Pepper (while the male Pac-Man was often called Packie) because she was never given a name.
In 1982, R. Cade and the Video Victims recorded a song titled "Ms. Pac-Man", using sound effects from the game, and released it on the album "Victim of the Video", a lesser-known video game song album.
While not inspired by the game, the song Game Over by rapper Lil Flip samples heavily from it.
In the movie Are We There Yet?, Lindsay tells Nick that Kevin had a bad dream playing Ms. Pac-Man at the mall but refers to her as Lady Pac-Man.
There is an obscure glitch in the original arcade game. If the player inserts a coin at the title screen, before Blinky appears, and begins, the walls of the first maze will be blue instead of pink.
At least one version of the game (found in a diner near the Kansas-Nebraska border) has the monsters turn into blue mice when Ms. Pac-Man eats the energizers.

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