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PROOF That Ms. Pac-Man Should've Been The 7800 Pack-In!


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#1 nosweargamer

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 09:07 PM

As some of you know, I believe that Pole Position II was a poor choice to be the pack-in for the 7800. It was an okay game, but it didn't have the mass appeal like Super Mario on the NES did. I believe Ms. Pac-Man was the obvious choice from the early titles. It's a great port and was one of the most popular arcade games of all time.

 

Some may disagree, but now I have PROOF!!!!

 

This is from issue 85 of EGM with a cover date of August, 1996:

 

CCI05112017.jpg

 

Did you read that? It says that Ms. Pac-Man was a top 20 title on the Sega Genesis in sales  :o

And because of it's popularity, they where porting Ms. Pac-Man to the SNES  :o  :o

And this was at a time when the Playstation, Saturn and N64 were battling  :o  :o  :o

 

So basically, a decade after the 7800 came out, Ms. Pac-Man was showing it's strength on the Genesis and SNES.

 

Can you name any other classic title that was doing that? I didn't find any articles about PP II racing away on the Genesis and bringing in the sales.

 

I'm not saying it would've made the 7800 anywhere near the level of the NES, but I wouldn't be surprised if it would've double 7800 system sales potentially leading to more games being made for the system and possibly a longer life.

 

Case closed  :D

 


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#2 chas10e

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 09:39 PM

Pac-Man was a launch title for the 2600 for awhile. I don't have any statistics of how well that turned out. 

 

Pole Position 2 was an Atari title they didn't need to get a licence for and quite a graphical improvement over the 2600 version

 

Ms Pac-man for the 2600 is a terrific game. not sure what improvements there are for the 7800 release. 


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#3 Willie!

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 09:51 PM

Ms pac would have been a incredible pack in for the 7800!


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#4 greenween

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 11:26 PM

I love Ms. Pacman on the 7800 and agree it should have been an obvious pack-in game!! I can't stand the Sega version. Ms Paman for the 2600 was sooooo much better than the first one.  Why did they not see this?


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#5 greenween

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 11:26 PM

Blinded by $$$$ is my guess.


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#6 RickR

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 11:31 PM

They should have included BOTH Pole Position 2 AND Ms. Pac Man!  Booyah. 


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#7 greenween

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 11:31 PM

Playing Pac Man on my friends 5200 was one of the greatest moments of my life.


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#8 RickR

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 11:34 PM

5200 Pac Man was indeed awesome. 

I remember playing Pac Man on the Atari Computers and deciding it was time to upgrade from the 2600. 


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#9 TrekMD

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Posted 12 May 2017 - 12:12 AM

I'd have to agree, Ms. Pac-Man was a far more popular game.  It would have helped sales. 

 

Ms Pac-man for the 2600 is a terrific game. not sure what improvements there are for the 7800 release. 

Plenty.  The 7800 version is arcade accurate pretty much.


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#10 RickR

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Posted 12 May 2017 - 01:01 AM

I love how *fast* 7800 Ms. Pac Man gets.  The ghosts really start flying around after a few levels.  It's really a great version. 


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#11 nosweargamer

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Posted 12 May 2017 - 09:30 AM

Pac-Man was a launch title for the 2600 for awhile. I don't have any statistics of how well that turned out. 

 

Pole Position 2 was an Atari title they didn't need to get a licence for and quite a graphical improvement over the 2600 version

 

Ms Pac-man for the 2600 is a terrific game. not sure what improvements there are for the 7800 release. 

 

Actually, PP2 was licensed from Namco, just as Ms. Pac-Man was. Odds are that they still had licenses lined up for home use when they 7800 system came out as both games came out for the 2600 before then.

 

Ms. Pac-Man on the 2600 is really good, but the 7800 really improves on it.


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#12 CrossBow

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Posted 12 May 2017 - 10:11 AM

I would agree that Ms. Pac-man would have made a better pack in...but only if the 7800 had been released originally in '84 as it was initially intended and he is why:

 

The 2600 eventually used pac-man as the pack in game, and pac-man eventually became a pack in for the 5200 as well. So it would have made complete since to have Ms. Pac-Man as the pack-in for the 7800 back in '84. 

 

However, I'm not as sure if Ms. Pac-man would have been a good pack-in when the 7800 was finally released in '86 and more mainstream by '88. Perhaps by then a different game to showcase the 7800 better should have been used. I've always thought that Food Fight or Xenophobe would have been good for this. Food Fight would have been fairly exclusive to the 7800 at that time, and if they used Xenophobe it would have been an excellent game to showcase the graphical power of the 7800 plus the fact it allowed two player simultaneous play. Part of the reason Combat was damn popular with everyone when the 2600 first came out was due to the fact that it was a two player game not just because it was the pack-in.

 

Just my opinion of course...


Edited by CrossBow, 12 May 2017 - 10:12 AM.

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#13 dauber

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Posted 12 May 2017 - 11:38 AM

I'd have to agree, Ms. Pac-Man was a far more popular game.  It would have helped sales. 

 

Plenty.  The 7800 version is arcade accurate pretty much.

 

Totally agreed. As long as I've been on AtariAge (about 16 years) I've seen many homebrews and hacks to make Pac-Man more like the arcade version, but I've never seen someone try to do the same with Ms. Pac-Man. Yeah, Ms. on the 2600 is a much better version of Ms. Pac-Man than Pac-Man on the 2600 is of Pac-Man, but I agree with you, Doc -- there's plenty that can be done with Ms.:

 

- Add the intermissions (and include the little sound effect when Pac and Ms. bump into each other -- the only home version I've ever seen that has that little sound is the yet-to-be-released POKEY version of Pac-Man Collection! on the 7800)

- Make the mazes more faithful to both the layouts and the colors of the arcade mazes

- Maze changing patterns to match those of the arcade (2600 has it change every 2 mazes)

- Improve the randomization of the bonus prize after the banana

- Add the background noise

- And for extra measure, add some special features like configuring when you get a bonus life, high speed option, and maybe "plus" mode.

 

Sound like a lot? Sure. But look at what they did with Pac-Man 8k.

 

And I've said this before on a few occasions, but what I'd really LOVE to see is someone take the existing 2600 Ms. Pac-Man and turn it into a crappy version that would be similar to the Tod Frye Pac-Man. :)

 

 

However, I'm not as sure if Ms. Pac-man would have been a good pack-in when the 7800 was finally released in '86 and more mainstream by '88. Perhaps by then a different game to showcase the 7800 better should have been used. I've always thought that Food Fight or Xenophobe would have been good for this. Food Fight would have been fairly exclusive to the 7800 at that time, and if they used Xenophobe it would have been an excellent game to showcase the graphical power of the 7800 plus the fact it allowed two player simultaneous play.

 

I addressed this in the latest Pie Factory Podcast (or was it the previous one??), but...I don't think Food Fight as a 7800 pack-in would have been a good business move on Atari's part. It would definitely have sold the system, but...thing is, Food Fight is the killer app for the 7800. It would make a lot of the other games pale in comparison.

 

I agree with nsg's assertion that Ms. Pac-Man would have been a better pack-in. It's a game that most people are already familiar with, and it was one of the most successful arcade games of all time, if not the most successful arcade game of all time. Imagine....Christmas time, you get an Atari 7800 for Christmas, and it comes with Ms. Pac-Man. ANYBODY in the family with at least one hand and some mastery of motor skills can immediately fire up the new console and play the game.

 

But Pole Position II?? A racing game being played with the PainLine?? And of course, there's the OCD factor: well, where's the original Pole Position??? Where there's a II, you need a I.
 


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#14 RickR

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Posted 12 May 2017 - 11:40 AM

Ms Pac Man was ported to many of the old systems, but it's amazing how hard it was to get the "feel" of the game just right.  A lot of the versions were too herky/jerky to be really fun. 

 

Someone mentioned the horrible Genesis version, and that's a good example.  Movement of MPM and the ghosts is not smooth enough.  SNES version is almost the same, but gets the smoother animation.  But that version is too slow. 

 

NES had a great version.  No complaints there. 

 

The one that blows me away is the version for original Gameboy.  It totally kicks butt over the Lynx and Game Gear versions (which have color and superior hardware).  But check it out....great graphics, great sound, perfect animation and control.  This version is one of my favorites.

 

2600/5200/7800 versions are all really great.  7800 especially gets the "feel" right, and the speed is fantastic.  Much faster than a lot of other versions. 

 

And then any system that gets a "Midway's Greatest Hits" or "Arcade Collection" pretty much got an arcade-perfect version of the game.  Most notable is for Gameboy Advance. 


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#15 nosweargamer

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Posted 12 May 2017 - 12:14 PM

 

 Perhaps by then a different game to showcase the 7800 better should have been used. I've always thought that Food Fight or Xenophobe would have been good for this. 

 

 

I, for one, enjoy Food Fight more than Ms. Pac-Man, but the truth is Food Fight was not a well known title (even to this day, a lot of non-7800 players aren't aware the game even exists) and the screen shots alone aren't that catchy.  So while I would've liked it as a pack-in, I don't think it has the mass appeal.

 

Xenophobe was one of the later releases, so that would rule it out. Otherwise, I'd be all over a Ninja Golf 7800 System set with Europads thrown in! :rofl:


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#16 dauber

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Posted 12 May 2017 - 03:26 PM

Xenophobe was one of the later releases, so that would rule it out. Otherwise, I'd be all over a Ninja Golf 7800 System set with Europads thrown in! :rofl:

 

And a lot of folks might have been disappointed with Xenophobe...I know Jimmy G has many times lamented that you can't be Dr. Kwack, for example...and one of the attractions about Xenophobe in the arcade was that you could play up to three players.


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#17 CrossBow

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Posted 13 May 2017 - 09:56 AM

And a lot of folks might have been disappointed with Xenophobe...I know Jimmy G has many times lamented that you can't be Dr. Kwack, for example...and one of the attractions about Xenophobe in the arcade was that you could play up to three players.

 

My point in mentioning Xenophobe was that it would have been better to include it to compare and compete against the NES version since I think most people would agree that the 7800 version is superior to the NES version?

 

But now that I really think about it... Xevious might have been another good one to include as a pack-in. Again it would compete well against the NES version and was definitely around at the time of the 7800s earlier releases right? 


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#18 Lost Dragon

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Posted 13 May 2017 - 10:01 AM

I loved Ms.Pac-Man on the 2600 and totally agree it would of made a far better in-game pack than Pole Position II, however....

 

In my humble opinion, that fact you could just as easily play it on the 2600, ok not quite a good a version, for the more causal gamer or perhaps more so the parent buying the hardware for the kids...i wonder if it would of done much to sell the system to them?

 

 

So i find myself nodding with agreement with CrossBow's comments here.

 

 

For myself, the 7800 sadly seemed to lack a Killer Exclusive of it's own that could of been bundled with the system at that time.Better versions of...just aren't enough..you needed something only on 7800 and something with mass appeal.

 

If your trying to sell the 7800 as an upgrade or family console...offering yet another Atari system with a version of Joust, Asteriods, Ms.Pac-Man etc etc, is going to be a hard sell, espically as some of those  games are starting to appear long in the tooth

 

 

Retro fans can rightfully praise likes of Ninja Golf, but it's not a sysystem seller.

 

7800 Xenophobe..lot of fun, but as i've explained and scans for home conversions are now up on here in various threads, it never got amazing scores on any home computer or console.

 

Atari really should of had something special written for the 7800 which was original or 1st home conversion, fun and showcased the hardware.


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#19 RickR

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Posted 13 May 2017 - 12:06 PM

What ^^ Lost Dragon said.

 

Super Mario Bros was the killer app that sold the NES.  Without something similar for the 7800 (pack in or not), the 7800 was destined to lose the battle.  Which hardware was superior...who was priced lower....who was in what stores....all of that does not matter without the killer app. 

 

Sega Master System is the same.  No SMB...no win. 


Edited by RickR, 13 May 2017 - 12:06 PM.

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#20 nosweargamer

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Posted 13 May 2017 - 12:58 PM

Unfortunately, the pack-in was decided for 1984 and there were no NES style games until much later on. Most of the NES style games did not come out until the very end as it took awhile for Atari to realize what gamers wanted.

 

With that being said, here were the games they had ready for the launch to choose for a pack in:

Centipede

Asteroids (UK Pack-In)

Dig Dug

Food Fight

Galaga

Joust

Ms. Pac-Man

Pole Position II

Robotron 2084

Xevious


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