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Pac-Man Arrangement

NCV2

Developer: Namco
Publisher: Namco
Series: Pac-Man series
Genres: Maze
Release date(s): 1996
Arcade system Namco ND-1
Number of players One or two players
Input methods 4 way joystick

Pac-Man Arrangement is a remake of the original Pac-Man. It was released in 1996 by Namco as part of Namco Classic Collection Volume 2 with Pac-Man, Rally X, New Rally X, Rally X Arrangement, Dig Dug, and Dig Dug Arrangement.

Gameplay

Like the original Pac-Man, Pac-Man Arrangement is a maze game in which the objective is to clear all Pac-Dots on the board by eating them and avoiding hazardous contact with the ghosts that also inhabit the maze.

Fundamental differences

  • There has been a graphical and musical overhaul; all of the characters and items have pseudo-3D sprites, and each stage features full-fledged background music.
  • There is a fifth ghost, Kinky, who has unique properties from the other ghosts.
  • Blinky starts the round moving slightly faster than Pinky, Inky, and Clyde.
  • Similarly to Pac-Mania, Blinky's more aggressive state is given a visual indication; his eyes become angry and he raises his arms.
    • All ghosts will take on this "angry", faster state (with their original behavior still intact) if Pac-Man stays on the round without dying long enough. If Pac-Man loses a life, the status is removed from Pinky, Inky, and Clyde.
  • When Pac-Man loses a life, action is continuous.
  • There are various power-ups the player can obtain which spawn at Pac-Man's starting position under certain conditions.
  • There are a couple of new gimmicks the player can use which can assist in maneuvering Pac-Man through the maze.
  • In the arcade version and the console version, two players can play at the same time. The second player is represented by a green Pac-Man, and each player is given an individual score that adds up to the total score.
  • There is a new maze every round. Furthermore, there is a new "world" after the first two rounds and every four rounds following that.
  • It is possible to continue from the same round once a player loses all of their lives; however, score and lives will be reset.
  • The game has a legitimate final stage in the form of Round 23, which pits the player(s) against a boss fight with the ghosts.
  • A bonus life is awarded at 40,000 points rather than 10,000 (by default–the DIP switch settings for this are one bonus at just 40,000 points, one bonus each at 40,000 and 100,000 points, or disabling the bonus altogether).
    • Furthermore, the base amount of lives (three still being the default) can be tweaked to any number including and between two and six (vice the original Pac-Man, which only had options for one, two, three, and five lives).

Ghosts

The four original ghosts maintain their usual behavior and are largely unchanged from their original counterparts until the gold-colored ghost, Kinky, comes into play. When Kinky is onscreen, the siren sound effect from the original Pac-Man plays alongside the background music. Kinky's A.I., characteristics, and effects are quite contrary to that of the standard four. Kinky moves at quite a high speed when compared to the other ghosts, but is always vulnerable when Pac-Man is on the stage and even acts like a Power Pellet when eaten, scaring the other ghosts into a vulnerable state. Kinky's only offensive option lies with the ability to merge with the classic quartet.

When Kinky spawns in the Ghost Home (about three seconds after Clyde leaves it), one of the ghosts is significantly slowed down; this is the ghost Kinky intends to combine with. As with the other four ghosts though, Pac-Man can eat a power pellet to slow Kinky down momentarily and make him move pseudo-randomly (though a combination will still occur if Kinky happens to run into his target ghost).

The transformations work as such:

  • Kinky gives Blinky a bull-like form that can charge through horizontal hallways;
  • Kinky gives Pinky a rabbit-like form that can leap from one side of the maze to the other;
  • Kinky gives Inky the ability to create a duplicate ghost that mirrors actions once Inky reaches the horizontal center of the screen (given that the ghosts are in "chase" mode);
  • Kinky gives Clyde the ability to replace previously cleared areas of the maze with large Pac-Dots.

When Kinky combines with a ghost, he laughs briefly, and the transformed ghost becomes bigger and moves slightly faster.

The default ghost names in Puck Man were carried over into the Japanese version of Pac-Man Arrangement, but the international version uses a mix of the Puck Man English descriptive names and the Pac-Man aliases. (These names were also used in the version of the original Pac-Man included with Namco Classic Collection Vol. 2.)

Color Japanese International
Character Nickname Character Nickname
Red Oikake Akabei Urchin Clyde*
Pink Machibuse Pinky Romp Pinky
Cyan Kimagure Aosuke Stylist Inky
Orange Otoboke Guzuta Crybaby Blinky*
Gold Hinekure Kinzo ????? Kinky

(*See Clyde and Blinky error.)

Items and Gimmicks

As aforementioned, there are several new items and gimmicks among the standard in Pac-Man Arrangement.

  • Pac-Dot – the most common and simple item; the standard ones are worth 10 points each, and Pac-Man must eat all of them in order to clear a round. Starting in Round 3, however, larger Pac-Dots may appear (either as a brief "wave" over normal-sized Pac-Dots or as a standard type in the maze), which, though they can be worth up to 50 points, slow Pac-Man down significantly.
  • Power Pellet – worth 50 points, and weaken the ghosts into a slower, vulnerable state, enabling Pac-Man to eat them. The point bonuses for eating a ghost now extend a bit beyond 1600 points–eating Kinky during a Power Pellet's vulnerability effect will temporarily extend the duration of the initial Power Pellet, allowing the player to score 3200 points for the 5th ghost eaten and 7650 points for any ghost eaten after that. Eating a ghost that had merged with Kinky will double the point bonus the player would have gotten. Power Pellets will also instantly remove Inky's duplicate from the maze.
  • Red Capsule – worth 1000 points; this most often spawns at Pac-Man's starting position if Blinky was the last ghost eaten during a vulnerability state. Eating it enables Pac-Man to move at about twice his original speed for about ten seconds, also ignoring the slowdown eating large Pac-Dots would have. It is similar to the Super Pellet's effect in Pac-Mania.
  • Pink Capsule – worth 1000 points; this most often spawns at Pac-Man's starting position if Pinky was the last ghost eaten during a vulnerability state. Eating it will pull all of the ghosts to a brown pot in the Ghost Home for about four seconds.
  • Cyan Capsule – worth 1000 points; this most often spawns at Pac-Man's starting position if Inky was the last ghost eaten during a vulnerability state. Eating it is similar to Inky's special ability; Pac-Man gains a duplicate that mirrors his actions. This faux Pac-Man has all of the same properties the standard one has, but is also invulnerable and even becomes the new "target" the ghosts refer to for their A.I. instead of the "real" Pac-Man. It lasts for about 10 seconds. Interestingly, Pinky still targets the original Pac-Man when using her special ability, but will move toward the duplicate when she lands.
  • Orange Capsule – worth 1000 points; this most often spawns at Pac-Man's starting position if Clyde was the last ghost eaten during a vulnerability state. Eating it will cause Pac-Man to ignore the deceleration given by larger Pac-Dots. In contrast to the prior capsules, this lasts as long as the player doesn't lose a life or obtain another special ability.
  • Gold Capsule – worth 100 points; this is an item that has a random chance of spawning if Kinky was the last ghost eaten during a vulnerability state. The laugh sound effect when Kinky combines with another ghost occurs, but it has no other gameplay effect aside from the point bonus.
  • Magic Wand – worth 1000 points; this is an item that has a random chance of spawning if Kinky was the last ghost eaten during a vulnerability state. It changes all of the ghosts on-screen into harmless presents and makes them worth 1000 points each. It will last either for about 10 seconds, or until the player eats all of the presents. It will also stop ghosts from regenerating until its effect ends.
  • Brown Pot – worth 1000 points; this is an item that has a random chance of spawning if Kinky was the last ghost eaten during a vulnerability state. It has the same effect as the Pink Capsule.
  • 1-UP – worth 1000 points; this is an item that has a random chance of spawning if Kinky was the last ghost eaten during a vulnerability state, though it is extremely rare. It grants Pac-Man an extra life regardless of the player's accumulated points.
  • Dash Panel – a gimmick introduced in the second round. Running over it in the direction the chevrons face will cause Pac-Man to charge in that direction with limited control, stunning ghosts in his path for a brief moment. This dash will overpower Blinky's special ability, and it can also neutralize Inky's duplicate if Pac-Man collides with it. If Pac-Man crashes into a wall, he will gain momentary invulnerability. Pac-Man can only use these once, but the ghosts are entirely unable to utilize them.
  • Jump Panel – a gimmick introduced in the sixth round. They come in pairs in up to four colors-red, pink, blue, and orange-and running over one will cause Pac-Man to bounce to another Jump Panel of the same color, with momentary invulnerabilty upon landing. The ghosts can also use these, but experience much more landing time than Pac-Man. Jump Panels are required to clear the penultimate round.

Ports

Pac-Man Arrangement was featured in 2001's Pac-Man Collection for the Game Boy Advance (which also featured the original Pac-Man, Pac-Mania, and Pac-Attack) and the US-exclusive PS2/GameCube/Xbox version of Namco Museum (which includes all of the games in Pac-Man Collection plus Ms. Pac-Man and six other Namco games). To celebrate Pac-Man's debut in the Super Smash Bros. series, Pac-Man Collection was also released on the Wii U in 2014, making a thirteen-year gap between the last two official releases of Pac-Man Arrangement.

Trivia

  • This was the first game to include ghost "character" names since the original Pac-Man, aside from ports of the first game. It would also be the first time international audiences would see the "alternate" character names (the standard, here).
  • Ironically, this game was also the last to explicitly feature the character names in-game.
  • On the introduction screen, the ghosts rotate in unique ways:
    • Blinky and Pinky rotate counterclockwise at the same speed.
    • Inky rotates at the same speed as Blinky and Pinky, but will switch between rotating counterclockwise and clockwise halfway into either rotation.
    • Clyde rotates counterclockwise, but slower than any of the other ghosts.
    • Kinky rotates at the same speed as Blinky, Pinky, and Inky, but clockwise instead of counterclockwise.
  • If Pac-Man dies while Kinky is onscreen, Kinky will appear gold until Pac-Man respawns.
  • The first and second worlds the player encounters are thematically similar to those in Pac-Mania; the first world takes place in a colorful blocky area, and the second world takes place in an area based on the original Pac-Man maze.

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