Page 1 of 1

Fixing Pac-Man's 256th Board

PostPosted: 21 Apr 2008, 16:25
by xot
This is a bit off-topic but probably of interest to visitors here. Gamer blog Kotaku posted a story yesterday about a man who decided to fix Pac-Man's kill screen once and for all. What is a kill screen? Many older arcade games have a point where they will malfunction when the player progresses further than designer ever thought possible, effectively ending the game. For Pac-Man, it occurs at level 256, and the result is normal maze on the left half of the screen and garbage on the right.

The man in question is Don Hodges, and on his website you'll find chronicled several similar projects he's tackled. For people interested in learning about decompilation and hacking games, he presents an easy to follow look into the methodology of hacking games. It is probably best to start with his first article which examines the Donkey Kong kill screen. Other articles include Dig Dug, Ms. Pac-Man, Astro Blaster.

Donkey Kong: Kill Screen
Pac-Man: Kill Screen
Dig Dug: Kill Screen
Ms. Pac-Man: Kill Screen
Astro Blaster: Long Lost Secret Bonus

PostPosted: 21 Apr 2008, 21:34
by Kroah
Thank you very much Xot for those links, nice ones.

I've just passed some hours reading everything! :)

Even if i've already browsed some reverse engineered games (Pac-Man, Defender, River Raid, ...), i like the idea to fix released games.