More screenshots...

Here are some less common screenshots that are not usually seen during normal gameplay...

Test screen

Error found in the Video RAM

Monitor test screen

The test screen shown on the left can be activated by turning on the game board test switch (press 'T' in PIE). If everything tests ok the game settings are shown and any modification in the DIP switches is immediately displayed. Also, a different sound is generated when the joystick, start buttons and coin slots are activated.

If some component fails, such as for example the VRAM module 0 shown in the center screenshot, a short diagnostic message is displayed and the test procedure stops.

From a working test screen it is possible to move on to the monitor test screen by turning off the test switch for an instant and then turning it on again (in PIE press 'T', wait an instant and press 'T' a second time). If the grid disappears then the test switch wasn't turned on fast enough.

The monitor test screen hides an easter egg put in by the original Pacman developers and that can be found in both the Namco and Midway ROMs. To activate it, press both start player keys and turn the test switch off and then back on after a small delay (in PIE: press '1' and '2' at the same time and while you keep them pressed push 'T', then release all keys and push 'T' again). If the sequence is performed correctly the test grid remains on the video. Now push the joystick slowly: up four times, left four times, right four times and down four times. If also this sequence is entered without errors a "Made by Namco" message appears!

"Made by Namco" easter egg

Screen flipped in cocktail mode

Split screen after the 255th level

If the game runs in a "cocktail" cabinet, player 1 and 2 controls are at opposite sides so the screen must be flipped when player 2 plays. This is done in hardware for the main screen (background), while the sprites are individually flipped by the game engine.

After the 255th screen the game freezes with a strange split-screen effect. (Actually the game does not freeze in PIE, maybe because the emulator is not 100% correct!) By the way this screen can be reached very fast using the rack advance switch and modifying the emulator so that the frames are rendered as fast as possible (otherwise it takes about 15 minutes). Of course it is also possible to make it stop automatically at or near the specified level, which is stored in RAM at offset 4E13h...

Update: I have received a very interesting email by Mr. Chuck C. that corrects the above explanation and describes the actual behavior of the game:

The screen comes up, with pacman and ghosts active. What happens is the game tries to read the fruit, and can't, and starts spewing garbage. The game then plays on from there. All the dots on the left hand side are there, but many of the dots on the right are not. There are, however, a few to collect. You can collect them and then die, and they will return. But even if you've set the game on max lives, lose none before that screen, and collect every dot on all of them, you will not collect enough dots to beat that screen. The only way to pass the screen is with the rack advance switch.

Thanks for the info Chuck!

Copyright (c) 1997-2004 Alessandro Scotti. All rights reserved.