Pac & Pal
|Pac & Pal|
|Preceded by||Super Pac-Man|
|Followed by||Pac-Land (JP)|
Pac & Pal is easily the least successful, and most misunderstood of all arcade titles in the Pac-Man series. Its design moves farther away from the original formula that debuted in Pac-Man, and continues with the momentum of changes established in Super Pac-Man, chasing away many Pac-Man purists. Apart from a the introduction of a new character in this game, one of the game's most radical changes that Pac-Man no longer eats the ghosts. Rather, he eats a power item and stuns them with a beam from his mouth in order to pass safely through them while they remained stunned. However, he is not invulnerable if powered up, and can still be killed. Also like Super Pac-Man, it runs on the same hardware: two Motorola M6809 microprocessors, run at 1.536 MHz.
As the title suggests, Pac-Man has a new "Pal" in the game, a green character, named Miru (or Mil in other games such as Pac-Man Vs. DS) who wanders around the maze along with Pac-Man and the ghosts. But this so-called Pal has some behaviors that can easily become a source of frustration for Pac-Man. When Pac-Man flips a card in order to open the gates that lead to fruits or an item, Miru heads towards it and tries to collect it. If Pac-Man cannot get to Miru before she deposits the item in the ghost regenerator, the item is gone forever. This can lead players to question exactly what kind of pal Miru is. Miru is intended to be depicted as an absent-minded, yet well-intentioned friend of Pac-Man whose hoarding instinct isn't meant to get in Pac-Man's way.
This game was only officially released in Japan, but a variant of the arcade program looks as though Namco may have intended to release the game outside of Japan under the title Pac-Man & Chomp Chomp. In this variation, Miru is altered to resemble Pac-Man's dog from the Hanna-Barbera cartoon. As a dog, Chomp Chomp seems a little more suited for the role of someone who absent-mindedly gathers items in one place, (such as in a freshly dug hole in the back yard). However, this version was never officially released. The game was rereleased as part of Volume 3 of the Namco History Collection for Windows 95 in Japan. In 2006, the original version appeared on Jakks Pacific's Super Pac-Man TV game, along with three other Pac-Man titles.
Pac-Man must once again clear every round by consuming every item behind locked gates, and avoiding the ghosts. But this time, Pac-Man now has another problem on his hands in the form of Miru, a green creature who wanders the maze in search of items to add to her collection, inside the ghost regenerator.
Table of Contents
 Gameplay summary
- Direct Pac-Man around the maze with the joystick.
- You must eat every item found behind the locked gates, and must flip over cards to unlock the gates. A maximum of three items can be unlocked.
- You must avoid contact with the ghosts unless they are stunned. If they catch you, Pac-Man will lose a life.
- If you eat a power item, you can fire a beam from your mouth that stuns ghosts for a while.
- Ghosts travel at half their usual speed through the orange section of the maze below the regenerator, and around parts of it.
- Miru will wander around the maze, and try to take freed items back to the ghost regenerator. There is no penalty, if she succeeds.
- In bonus rounds, you must flip over as many cards as you can without uncovering Blinky.