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A pre-crash arcade video game developed by Namco, Super Pac-Man was the underrated sequel/follow-up to Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man. The gameplay deviated pretty far from these first two games, but still retains enough similarities to satisfy fans of the original. Like Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man, and many other early video games, there is no real ending other than "GAME OVER" and the game is played only for points.

Super Pac-Man puts the player once again in control of Pac-Man, who runs through a maze, trying to eat things, and being chased around by four different-colored ghosts. While they're in their normal colors, running into them will kill Pac-Man, but by eating one of four large, flashing white dots, or "power pills" on each level, he can temporarily turn the ghosts dark blue and eat them, which awards the player with points (the first ghost after eating a power dot is worth 200, the second is worth 400, the third is worth 800, and the last is worth a whopping 1600), removes the ghost's body, and sends its eyes wandering back to the ghosts' home, a box in the middle of the screen, to be restored to its original, deadly form. These elements are retained from Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man, but the rest is relatively unique.

The small dots Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man were previously trying to eat are now gone, replaced by many "fruits" like those found in Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man (although in all of these games, not all of them are actually fruit or even food; amongst other things, Ms. Pac-Man had a pretzel, Pac-Man had a bell and a Galaxian, and Super Pac-Man has a cup of coffee and a shoe), and about a dozen keys. Each type of fruit is worth a different number of points (the higher-value fruits are found on higher levels), but the keys are always worth the same 50 points. While the level only ends when all of the fruits are eaten, eating keys is important as well, because all of the fruits on the screen are blocked off by maze walls and gates. Each time Pac-Man eats a key, one or more of the gates disappears and he can get at the fruit behind it.

In addition to the fruits, keys, and power dots, each level contains two large, green, flashing "super dots" that temporarily transform Pac-Man into an extra-large, "Super" Pac-Man. While in this form, he cannot eat the ghosts (unless they are dark blue), but he can run right over them without harm, and he can eat right through the gates without having to eat the keys first. As Super Pac-Man, he may also be made to move extra quickly (although it makes him somewhat harder to control) by holding down a button on the control panel of the game. The amount of time Pac-Man will remain Super can extended by a few seconds by eating a power dot or super dot, and with practice, it is possible to run through entire levels very quickly just by getting a super dot as soon as possible and charging around with the speed-up button held down.

There are two small empty boxes on the screen near the ghosts' home box, and once in a while, various fruits will flash in them, like a two-reel slot machine. When this happens, a small star appears in between them, and the fruits stop changing when Pac-Man eats the star; points are then awarded depending on what the fruits in the boxes are at that time. Usually this is just a few hundred points, but getting two of the same fruit is worth several thousand.

Another way to score a lot of points at once is the bonus levels, which come up every few levels like the "challenging stage" in Galaga. In these, the ghosts are gone, and in their home box is a timer, counting down rapidly from 20,000. Pac-Man starts this level as Super Pac-Man and does not change back. The level ends either when all the fruits are eaten, and the number left on the timer is added to your score, or when time runs out and the next, normal level begins.

For those who have mastered, or just gotten sick of, Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man, Super Pac-Man is a nice change of pace. 50,000 points is a realistic goal to shoot for, but there are those who can easily reach double that amount. Good luck and keep practicing, and one day you'll reign over the high score board with an iron fist.

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