Tuesday, May 28, 2024
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Meet the Man Who Beat ‘Pac-Man’

Billy Mitchell, Video Game Player Of The Century.

He did the world’s first perfect score on Pac-Man.3,333,360.

Ooh, it’s exhausting to just say it.I began in the competitive world of pinball.  It moved to Donkey Kong.

 But the greatest level of competition at the moment was Pac-Man.(Pac-Man video game sound effects) If I was gonna be the best if I had to be the best at the game that was everywhere.So in 1999, I sent out a press release.

I was as cocky as could be.

They said, “There have been ten billion games played, “How are you gonna do it?”

I said, “‘Cause I’m Billy Mitchell.”

(upbeat instrumental music) You start off on the first board, but on board 21, that’s where it reaches maximum difficulty.

You have to navigate all the way to board 255 doing the same repetitive thing.

You can’t miss a dot, a prize, a blue man.

You can’t die once.

You can’t lose focus.

You gotta stay with it all the way there.

Four-to-five hours.

You have to take a corner, down to 160th of a

second in order to create perfect timing.

And keep your eye right here.

Right here.

You have to do that over 29,000 times without making any mistakes and dying.

 You play 255 boards.On 256, there’s enough memory left in the game for the

 left half of the board,

and not the right half.

 The right half is filled with computer garble.

 Anything and everything

 that is not Pac-Man.

 Different walls, different dots.

 That’s what a perfect score is.

 The moment that score went up there, I thought, “Wow, I achieved perfection.”

 You get to the end.

 There’s nothing to do but die.

 There was nothing saying, “Congratulations.”

 There was nothing saying, “The End, Game Over.” Nothin’.

The designer of Pac-Man, not only did he never think anyone would get to the end, he didn’t know where the end was.

 He didn’t know at what point the game would run out of memory. Everything to him is completely baffling. They never saw the split screen until I sent it to them.  Masaya Nakamura, who’s the Godfather of video games, he crowned me “Video Game Player of the Century” for that and all the previous achievements. It doesn’t get any higher than that.


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