Since we’re closing out 2014, I thought it’d be a keen idea to finally close out my discussion of Ms. Pac-Man Turbo mini-patterns that provide a good chance to grab the fruit/prize/thingy as soon as it comes out of the tunnel.
This fourth maze comes after you clear the third maze four times and see the “Junior” cut scene. (If it weren’t for the “turbo” variation of Ms. Pac-Man, I’d probably never see this maze.) When the dark blue maze appears for the first time, remember that when Ms. Pac-Man eats an energizer, the ghosts’ vulnerability lasts the full cycle, but after clearing the maze the first time the vulnerability significantly slows down. Remember to keep track of how many times the ghosts flash blue and white, and before the eighth flash (fourth on some levels!) happens, stop your pursuit! (Read on for more about eight flashes versus four flashes.)
As a final reminder, the bonus enters the maze via a tunnel after Ms. Pac-Man has eaten 70 dots (including energizers), give or take, depending on the machine, and the second prize comes out after the next hundred dots. If you pay attention to your score, you’ll be able to calculate at what point Ms. Pac-Man should be positioned by a tunnel for that second prize.
In terms of being positioned directly in front of a tunnel when the first prize of the screen appears, my pattern is pretty simple, so simple that it only requires one screen shot. What’s nice about the layout of this maze is that even if you’re not positioned at the correct tunnel, the tunnels are close enough together that a quick move to the path of the dancing prize is usually pretty easy to do.
As before, the recommended pattern is the green path (duh!). The parts of the maze highlighted in red are danger zones; be careful around those areas, because it’s very easy to get trapped. As luck would have it, quite frequently when I’m on this maze, as soon as I grab the prize, there’s often a lot of clearance between where I eat the prize and the end of the red zone directly above the ghosts’ pen.
If you happen to play a machine in which the prize comes out before you eat 70 dots, you’ll be able to tell early on — just before you enter the tunnel — if you’re about to enter the wrong tunnel, so you’ll be able to make a quick change without having to reverse course at the last moment.
Maze Prize Mini-Patterns: a Recap
It’s both a blessing and a curse that Ms. Pac-Man is a much more random game than its predecessor. The randomness in the ghosts’ artificial intelligence provides much more challenging gameplay than the original, but the randomness also means it’s virtually impossible to come up with a reliable pattern. Indeed, the mini-patterns I’ve posted in this blog even aren’t 100% reliable: you never know when one of the ghosts may make an unexpected move, forcing you off the path of the pattern. If that happens, just remember: eat 70 dots and the bonus enters the maze.
As for the second bonus after the next 100 dots? Well…best of luck — you’re on your own there!
I realize the patterns I’ve devised have been spread out over various posts on this blog, so below is an index of the patterns so you have them all in one place (just bookmark this page):
Mini-pattern for the first maze (also often works on the non-turbo version):
Mini-pattern for the second maze:
Mini-pattern for the third maze:
Third maze mini-pattern alternative for Atari 7800:
Another year over…
And so ends both 2014 and my Ms. Pac-Man Turbo grab-the-bonus-right-away mini-patterns. I used these patterns when I achieved my current high score of 760,000, and if you’re struggling to get a decent score, you’ll probably find them helpful as well.
I’ll be back in 2015 starting with a focus on keeping track of how long it’s safe to chase the ghosts after eating an energizer, covering not one, not two, but three games in the Pac-Man series. Also, I’ll be doing a monthly post about a non-Pac-Man game that was obviously…”adapted”…from Pac-Man; I’m open to suggestions!