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Pac & Pal

Pacandpal

Developer: Namco
Publisher: Namco
Series: Pac-Man series
Genres: Maze, Puzzle
Release date(s): Flagofjapansmall July 30, 1983
Northamericaflagsmall 2006 (Plug 'N Play)
Arcade system Namco Super Pac-Man
Number of players One or two players
Input methods 4 way joystick, button

Pac & Pal (パック&パル Pakku ando Paru) is an arcade game released exclusively in Japan by Namco. It is the fourth installment in the Pac-Man series.

Gameplay

Rather than building on the foundation of Pac-Man like previous sequels, Pac & Pal moreso follows the Super Pac-Man gameplay formula. The player must flip over Cards to unlock gates, which hold trapped Fruit inside. Unlike previous games, multiple types of fruit appear locked away in each level, ranging in point value from 50 to 5000 points.

New to this game is Pac-Man's "pal", Miru. According to the game's story (which is not explained in-game whatsoever), Miru is a ghost, who betrayed the main four in order to help Pac-Man; she does this by collecting fruit alongside him. While this can be considered helpful, every time Miru collects something and not Pac-Man, the final level score decreases. For more skilled players, it is best to collect as much fruit as possible for the highest amount of points.

There is a large orange box in the maze's center, which Pac-Man can go in to hide from ghosts; nothing is really stopping the ghosts from going in themselves however, and they will follow him in if he is in their line of sight. As with previous games, hitting a ghost will lose a life, and the game is over when all lives are lost.

Occasionally there are bonus rounds (referred to as "Rest" in-game), in which Pac-Man must flip over as many cards as possible without flipping over the one Blinky is hiding under. Miru will appear under a card as well, which will multiply the round's final score if she is touched. These are completely randomized, and getting a perfect score is all a matter of luck.

The game is also the first Pac-Man title to feature music during gameplay, as previous games just had a never-ending siren playing in the background. The bonus rounds and high-score table have their own music tracks as well.

Power-Ups

This game ditches Power Pellets in exchange for five brand-new power-ups, none of which were in previous installments. Every ability turns Pac-Man light blue when eaten, and allows him to shoot something out of his mouth. Two are found in each stage, which are both the same as each other. They include:

  • Galaxian Boss - Gives Pac-Man the ability to temporarily stun the ghosts. A direct reference to the "capture" mechanic from Galaga.
  • Rally-X - Pac-Man spits out smoke, which makes the ghosts' eyes water. A direct reference to the carsmoke from Rally-X and New Rally-X.
  • Trumpet - Pac-Man's awful trumpet-playing makes the ghosts dizzy.
  • Snowman - Ice shoots out from Pac-Man's mouth, which freezes the ghost.
  • Pac-Replica - Pac-Man sends out a bunch of micro Pac-Men, which nibble on the top of ghosts' heads.
Pacpal shot

Scoring System

  • Vulnerable Ghosts:
    • #1 in succession - 200 points.
    • #2 in succession - 400 points.
    • #3 in succession - 800 points.
    • #4 in succession - 1600 points.
  • Cards:
    • PM Galaxian Galaxian Boss: 1000 points
    • 🏎️ Rally X: 1000 points
    • 🎺 Trumpet: 1000 points
    • ⛄ Snowman: 1000 points
    • PM Pacman Pac-Replica: 1000 points
  • Fruit:
    • 🍒 Cherry: 50 points.
    • 🍓 Strawberry: 100 points
    • 🍊 Orange: 150 points
    • 🍎 Apple: 200 points
    • 🍈 Melon: 300 points
    • 🍋 Lemon: 400 points
    • 🍍 Pineapple: 500 points
    • 🔑 Key: 700-5000 points

Pac-Man & Chomp-Chomp

In October 1983, Bally Midway planned to bring Pac & Pal stateside, renamed Pac-Man and Chomp-Chomp. This version was identical to the regular game, but replaced Miru with Chomp-Chomp, Pac-Man's pet dog. It is unclear why the character was changed, but it may have just been to appeal more to American audiences. The game was test marketed at several arcades, but ultimately was canceled after earning underwhelming profit.

While no machines have surfaced, the game's ROM was dumped and is playable in emulators such as MAME. This version seems to not be the final, but it is mostly complete.

Home Ports

  • PlayStation 3
  • Plug 'N Play TV Games
  • Wii
  • Windows PC
  • Xbox 360

No home versions were released in the 80s or 90s, possibly due to the game being more advanced than the other Pac-Man titles, making it harder to port. The first rerelease of the game was on a 4-in-1 Plug 'N Play from 2006, which also marks Pac & Pal's first official release outside of Japan.

Trivia

  • Strangely, this game is listed in the history section of Pac-Man World 3, but under the Pac-Man & Chomp-Chomp name rather than as Pac & Pal. This is currently the only official acknowledgement of said version.

Gallery

Screenshots

Artwork