Thursday, March 30, 2006

A gaming legend

Abdner Ashman. What does that name mean to you? Probably not much, although you might be wondering if his name is actually Abner. Well, make sure you call him Abdner and you marvel at his incredible Ms. Pac-Man skills. I learned a lot from the account of his record-breaking performance written by Robert Mruczek and you can too. Most interesting tidbits:

Through the first sixteen stages, when "Ms Pacman" eats an energizer dot, the ghosts turn blue for a short period of time, during which "Ms Pacman" can eat the ghosts for some big points. As the boards increase, the time that these ghosts turn blue and are vulnerable to being eaten decreases to about one second. During board 17 they do not turn blue at all, while in board 18 they turn blue (albeit briefly) one final time before they never turn blue again.

The Path to Victory

Boards 26 thru 53 inclusive - Some of the worst fruit distribution luck imagineable. Abdner receives only three (3) banana fruits out of 56 fruits for these 28 stages. Even Abdner was heard saying "Come ON !!"at some point, expressing his personal annoyance at this run of bad luck.

The Million Point Dream

The last frontier on this title is "fruit manipulation", a concept that may be a pipe dream, or which may very well be the key to a "Holy Grail" of video gaming...attaining a score of 1 million points on "Ms Pacman".

Experts have contended that if everything goes right, and the fruit distribution is about as perfect as they can expect, then they envision a possible score of maybe 1.003 million points as being possible under normal conditions on classic "Ms Pacman". And if you think that all it will take is just a few more bananas, think again. In twenty three years, only two (2) scores of over 920,000 points have been logged on the classic version of the title, separated by barely 1,000 points.


Like sporting event records...fastest 100M, highest high jump, longest home run...eventually the world records on all video games reach a point where competitors sit back and marvel at just how much effort had to go into setting such a score. Can the effort be duplicated ? Can they themselves pick up the skillset and challenge the world's best scores?

My own thoughts:

This brilliant site also lists high scores for all games. It turns out that I could get on this Tetris list! As my family can verify, I once got 211 lines in a game. And I could easily get over 160.

No comments:

Post a Comment