A downloadable game

How To Play

  • Move around the maze using joystick, avoiding the ghosts and collecting all the pellets. 


  • Collect the flashing power pellets to turn the tables. Now for a brief period you can eat the frightened ghost that have turned blue. Eat all four for the maximum bonus.


  • Hold a direction just before a turn to 'slide' round corners and gain a speed advantage over chasing ghosts


  • Go through the tunnel on the edge of the map to lose a chasing ghost, as they slow down when moving through them.


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Scoring

      • Pellet = 10
      • Power Pellet = 50
      • 1st Ghost = 200
      • 2nd Ghost = 400
      • 3rd Ghost = 800
      • 4th Ghost = 1600
      • Cherry = 100
      • Strawberry = 300
      • Orange = 500
      • Apple = 700
      • Melon = 1000
      • Galaxian = 2000
      • Bell = 3000
      • Key = 5000

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Tips

I cannot accept payment for this game but if you'd like to support my game development in general you can leave a tip here. Your kind donations allow me to occasionally take my wife out for lunch in lieu of the hundreds of hours a year spent on C64 development, and are greatly appreciated!

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Background

I was inspired to attempt to create a really accurate port of Pacman after reading The Pacman Dossier by Jamey Pittman. There have been some good ports and clones on the C64, and of course there is the definitive Ms Pacman conversion in the shape of Lady Pac, but the level of detail in the dossier gave me everything I needed to get as close as possible to the original arcade game. 

In order to achieve my ultimate aim that a player who can play a perfect game on the arcade can also do so on the C64, it was clear the map would need to scroll so that it would be exactly the same as the arcade. Therefore there would be no adjustments needed to the logic behind the movement of Pacman or the ghosts. On PAL I fake 60fps by running the game loop twice every 5th frame, while skipping the sound code every 6th frame on NTSC.

This initial version might not be quite there, but I have been working with some Pacman experts, including some of the few people in the world to play a perfect game and will hopefully continue to do so until the goal is reached. It only takes a pixel difference two minutes into a frame-perfect pattern to throw things off, but of course you need to be a great player to play the patterns in the first place and notice the difference.....for us casual players it should play near-identically to the arcade.

I even went as far as including an 8K lookup table that returns exactly the same sequence of random numbers as the arcade machine, which is often one area where conversions diverge as ghosts in 'frightened' mode make 'random' turns, but always in the same sequence.

I also included the famous kill screen that occurs when completing level 255. This probably won't play 100% like the arcade game because a lot of its behaviour depends on the tile data layout of the arcade ROM, but then again, only a handful of people in the world are good enough to reach it!

For more details on ghost AI, speeds, timers, and general strategy see the dossier.

The game does function on NTSC machines  but I recommend running on PAL if possible to avoid flickering. I will attempt to address the NTSC flickering in a future update.

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Special thanks to Eric Akeson for his help and patience in tracking down some particularly infuriating bugs over the past few months.




StatusReleased
Rating
Rated 5.0 out of 5 stars
(2)
AuthorArlasoft
GenreAction
TagsCommodore 64, pacman

Download

Download
pacman100_FH.d64 170 kB

Comments

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Nice game !!

(1 edit)

I think this is an amazing port, but it felt like it plays too fast for me on my TheC64 Maxi. Also the controls didn't feel the most responsive, needing to hold the direction on turns otherwise it didn't register. Maybe I'm just new to Pacman? I know the sound effects didn't sound accurate to me, but I'm wondering if that's just the SID chip?

Found a bug in the game. If you eat a blue ghost and the last dot of the maze at the same time, the game will go to attract mode. This happened on a NTSC machine.

This is an awesome port! I came across this on a tweet, tried it out and wondered if you would allow it to be offered as a download on our website too (8bitboyz.com)? 

(+1)

This couldn't have been more perfectly timed - I'm actually making a MASSIVE YouTube project that involves showcasing the many ports of Pac-Man (homebrew and official) and challenging myself to see how far I can get in each one, then followed with a review of the port - this released literally in the midst of that, so this is VERY exciting indeed!

(7 edits)

Really a good conversion of Pac-Man for the C64. Thanks for that one and all the other good games, that came out by Arlasoft in last time.

But before V1.1 of Pac-Man now comes, maybe the last issues in Galaga could be solved and a V1.6 of that game could first be released, because for that final version of Galaga some users wait a long time now and strangely enough, all other things (Galaxian, Pillars, Berzerk, Pac-Man etc) are somehow preferred to these last fix and I guess, it's not really a big deal, to change these autofire-problems there. Thanks in advance. :)

(+2)(-1)

Hello and once again thank you for bringing the 64 to degrees of quality it never touched - talking here especially of the attention in converting the inner workings of the original Pac-Man masterpiece. 

I dare to provide a suggestion about the scrolling - not coming from me but from Namco:D

Please check what they did in the Game Boy version. Focusing on vertical axis, they start doing a overscan scroll much earlier (64 pixels from the level border or so). This makes the scrolling feel less abrupt, and starts revealing a bit earlier the not visible area.

(And of course sorry if you already considered this option and ruled it out because reasons!)

That said: you rock. Have a nice day! 

(1 edit)

Game Gear version.

Indeed. Even in the GG case, the scrolling is locked to Pac as soon as he reaches the central third of the screen, and it feels a bit abrupt. My point is that a slower vertical scrolling starting earlier, together with the way Pac moves along the y axis of the screen, would be less disruptive for the kind of playstyle Pac-Man has. Namco used this scrolling style also on GBC.

Yes, I see it. Scroll is smoother / slower. And a little earlier we can see this invisible part of the board (when moving up and down)

AS far as i understood the c64 version is supposed to be ARCADE perfect, so basically matches the Arcade version :)

Absolutely stunning arcade fidelity in fact - my suggestion is related to the scrolling technique only. 

Brilliant, absolutely brilliant, with the scrolling it feels “epic”. If you can do this then you can do a version of Pacman Championship Edition!

- Current 1UP Score (0 points) is transferred to Hi-Score during Demo play.

- The Current 1UP Score is carried over to the Hi-Score even though it is less than or equal to the Hi-Score value

- The Save Hi-Score operation is performed every time the game ends, even if the value of Hi-Score has not changed.

- And as mentioned before, the used method of reading the SEQ file is incompatible with the ActionReplay Turbo cartridge for some reason. (The SEQ file is written byte to byte, but similarly to PRG, because the first two bytes contain start-address for load. But that's not a problem with Save, only with Load.
When I change code to PACSCORE,P (for name for load and save) file is written and read as PRG without problems.)

Regards

(+1)

Thanks, will get these fixed for 1.1.

There is a score bug: if you get the 4th blue ghost, you earn 100 points, the fourth ghost should be worth 1600 points

(+1)

Good catch - we were so focused on catastrophic bugs like the scrolling completely breaking, we missed this off-by-one error. Will fix in 1.1.

Great version of Pacman! I have noticed that there is a bug in the score when you eat the ghosts. On the screen it says 200, but he added 400. If he eats 400, then he adds 800 and so on. Thanks !

(+1)

Thanks, will fix for v1.1!

(1 edit)

I also just made a gameplay and commentary video on this new release, I thought the scrolling maze would bother me!

Simply stunning ! :) Will at some point share the code like you did for other games (for learning purpose) ? Anyway, as usual, mind blowing :)

(3 edits)

Great version of Pacman.

I noticed that if I use an Action Replay cartridge the load hi-score does not work. 62, FILE NOT FOUND. Save SEQ file with turbo works fine.

I have to turn off the Action Replay turbo with the OFF command and start the game, then the load hi-score SEQ file works ok.
EDIT
I did a test, I checked the loader available at this link and it loaded the Pacscore file without any problems. With AR turbo ON. (fname TEXT "pacscore,s,r")

https://www.lemon64.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=72144&sid=892c38bc649bb2a53013c4f9...

also with emulator hiscore does not work.

(4 edits)

If I change the name to PACSCORE,P  under $7645 and $76f8 then load/save HS works fine... But does the PRG file
and I see another problem, hiscore saved even when the points are less than or equal to the best score

(2 edits)

but did a load into memory with start address (two bytes $4C $0C - $0c4c)
I am not sure if the SEQ file should contain such a start address. It is like saving PRG but with SEQ extension

I am humbled by how lovely this game is

Beautiful work as you have us accustomed to, thanks! 

Now, while I love Lady Pac, I'd still love to see a Ms Pacman port by you using this same scrolling format and attention to detail.

And Again the Master of Code comes in and delivers a pure jewel .... Thank you soooo much :)

Excellent arcade conversion!

Thank you for your tribute to Pac Man and the glorious unforgettable and ever-present C64, finally a perfect version of the arcade

great game

very good

Awesome game!

Wow! Your output is phenomenal. All great quality. Will be playing this later. Thanks. Your support for the beloved C64 is greatlu appreciated.

Okay, have played and it's perfect! Well done!