A Guide To Winning at
Ms. Pac-Man and, thus, at Life

by Secho


The most important decision you will make at a Ms. Pac-Man machine comes before you even put the quarter in the slot. In order to optimize your scoring potential, you must play a machine on which Ms. Pac-Man moves really fast. I can’t quantify this, but if you’re looking at the machine and in the demo game Ms. Pac-Man is moving really fast, you’ve found the right machine. If she’s not moving very fast, please, for the love of God, leave.

On the first two or three boards, focus on eating the ghosts. This is how you can maximize your scores early. It’s important to pad your score on the early, easier levels so you can focus on survival later in the game. Eating all four ghosts on a single power pellet gives you 3,000 points. That means, the ghosts are potentially worth 12,000 points on each board. Because you only need 10,000 points to receive your first bonus character, focus on achieving this goal on the first board. Then you can worry about your more pressing needs on subsequent boards. It is also important to eat a lot of ghosts early on because once you have proceeded past acts one and two, the ghosts will not be edible for more than two or three seconds on each power pellet.

The floating foods are a nice bonus, but you have to weigh the risk and the reward. On the first board, for instance, the cherry is only worth 100 points. It is not really worth going out of your way to eat the cherry when it could cost you a life. Now, if the cherry happens to appear in your general vicinity, it would be okay to go after it. But I don’t really worry about the fruits until the fourth board, which features pretzels. The pretzels are worth 700 points each, and the most lucrative food is the banana, at 5,000 points each. There is only one level, mind you, in which bananas are the only featured food. Take your time on this board, waiting out as many bananas as you can to pad your score. From this point forward, the foods come out randomly on each board.

After each level, I like to say a little affirmation to myself. You can choose one that fits your particular Ms. Pac-Man goals, but it should go something like this:

“I am the best Ms. Pac-Man player in this particular establishment, and by logical extension, the best human being on the planet.”

Don’t be afraid to dream big. I’m not, and look where it got me.

Secho is an accomplished Ms. Pac-Man player. He is pretty sure he holds the all-time high score at the Farrell’s on 12th and Weidler in Portland, Oregon.


Past pieces presented by Baja Phats

From My Diaries by Winston T. Spoojalot


About contributors to Baja Phats

The Baja PHAQ

Now you can pay to read Baja Phats Presents!