This will NOT be my year. (Apologies to Chris White)

Another attempt at the house high on Ms. Pac-Man Turbo at Underground Retrocade…failed. Three times. And now, I’m absolutely convinced that trying to keep track of my level progress is a hindrance to the game play.

First attempt: lost not one but two lives on level 14; yuck…and I just gave up and committed game suicide at about 185,000.

Second attempt: lost my first life before I even made it to the freakin’ pear! My score was around 65,000 when I lost my first life. (Remember, my most recent personal high score record involved me making it to about 238k before I lost my first life.) Final score was only in the 230k range, if I recall correctly.

Before I made my third attempt, I asked Scott Lambert to stream my attempt. I figured that maybe if I believed people were watching, the pressure would be on; I historically work well under pressure. Started out pretty well, except that I missed my goal of finishing the banana level with at least 100,000 points by…six dots! Yup, ended that level with 99,940. I lasted nearly 200,000 points before I lost my first life, but alas, I didn’t even get to 400,000. My attempt can be viewed at (I just might watch that recording just to see how many levels I cleared.) I know one problem was that I kept forgetting to stay in the parts of the maze where the ghosts are far away, and so I repeatedly made some pretty dangerous — and costly — moves.

So, breaking the house high score of 551k just won’t happen this year, most likely. I can’t imagine I can make it back to Underground — or any other arcade, for that matter — until January, what with the holidays and other events coming up.

All was not lost, though. Between my second and third Ms. Pac-Man Turbo high score attempts, I tried Jr. Pac-Man Turbo and kept in mind the seventh-maze strategy Fred Ochs told me, and you know what? It worked. (I swear, I’ll post the strategy here as soon as I can — I’d explain it, but I’d like to accompany it with a picture!) The seventh maze wasn’t much of a problem. I increased my personal high score to 368,880, and I’m sure I would have lasted even longer if I didn’t miscalculate when the ghosts stop turning blue. (Note for next time: the third time you get to the sixth maze, no more blue ghosts!) I didn’t reach Fred’s arcade high of about 400k, but at least my score improvement also improved my rank from #13 to #9.

The good news about the likelihood (or lack thereof) of hitting an arcade before the holidays? I’ll have a better chance of posting more substantive stuff here on the blog other than arcade trip updates.

Now about that root beer maze trick…


About pacmaniax

Sean is a web developer whose obsession with the Pac-Man franchise goes back to 1981, when he first played Pac-Man as an 7-year-old who didn't quite understand that you need to eat one of those big, blinking things first before you attempt to eat the ghosts. For one brief moment, he thought he held the world record for Jr. Pac-Man Turbo in October 2012, but it was actually only the second-highest score on record, and even that ranking only lasted under a day. A music buff, you can see Sean posting not only on and as "dauber," but also on various forums that obsess over The Beatles and Brian Wilson. Sean is also cohost of Pie Factory Podcast.
This entry was posted in Jr. Pac-Man Turbo, Ms. Pac-Man Turbo, Underground Retrocade. Bookmark the permalink.

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