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[Comments] (2) Pac-Man Heresy: I was looking at this list of official Pac-Man franchise games and ports (caution: page uses "gay" as a pejorative). And a couple things occured to me. First, what would be much more interesting (and longer) would be a list of unofficial Pac-Man games and ports. Like, uh, this page, except more opinionated. The other thing is the monsters/ghosts. According to Pac-Man orthodoxy, the monsters who chase Pac-Man around the maze are just that: monsters. Generic monsters. NOT ghosts. To call them ghosts is counterrevolutionary. Some fools think they are ghosts because the horrible Atari 2600 port of Pac-Man had really bad flicker, and called them ghosts to cover up the fact.

But come on. They look like ghosts. Specifically they look like Charlie Brown ghost costumes, baggy sheets over the head with holes cut for eyes. That's why people think they're ghosts, not because one port twenty-five years ago couldn't handle five moving objects on the screen at once. People don't see random things flickering and say "oh, that must be a ghost". There has to be some preexisting resemblance to a ghost. So don't blame people for thinking that the monsters are ghosts.

Instead of simply asserting that the monsters are not ghosts, it's pretty easy to prove it, a la Aristotle. A ghost is the disembodied essence of a dead person. When Pac-man, under the influence of a power pellet, eats a monster, the essence of the monster is separated from its body and goes into the penalty box to regenerate. What is that disembodied essence but the monster's ghost? How can a ghost have a ghost? It does not make sense.

Hopefully this proof can bring some civility to the enlightenment of those who think the Pac-Man monsters are ghosts. This is my Pac-Man heresy, brought on, I believe, by Pac-Man fever.

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Comments:

Posted by unclepedro at Thu Mar 23 2006 11:14

"When Pac-man, under the influence of a power pellet, eats a monster, the essence of the monster is separated from its body and goes into the penalty box to regenerate. What is that disembodied essence but the monster's ghost? How can a ghost have a ghost? It does not make sense."

Actually, it does make sense!

Imagine a ghost in your home, rattling about, harrassing you. The ghost has no form and can't make itself visible, so it's gotten under the sheet you had over your grandma's love seat and used it to give itself more bulk. This is common ghost lore. Somehow, the sheet gives the ghost the ability to harm you.

You pop the power pellet you have been saving for just such an occaision, which gives you the necessary confidence for what you are about to do, and you... EAT THE GHOST'S SHEET!

The ghost now has no sheet, but obviously you didn't consume the ghost's soul... I mean, power pellets don't a Cthulhu make... but now, thanks to you and your power pellet, the ghost is disembodied, and embarassed, and has to float around looking for another sheet. Maybe if you're lucky you'll catch a glimpse of the ghost's harmless, beady little eyes looking to and fro for a place to change.

Posted by Leonard at Thu Mar 23 2006 11:59

Curse you and your logic-chopping, Peterson!


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