Is There Any Logic to the Way the Pacman 'Ghosts' Move?

Blinky, Pinky, Inkey and Clyde. These are 4 predatory ghost thingies that Pacman must face, unless he eats an energy dot and then is able to eat them. I got a Pacman program for our computer a while ago, and I am glad I did. I mean, I like the game, but I just don’ t think chugging quarters into one of those machines (that are usually found in seedy bars anyways, where I live) is worth it. I have been playing it for a while now. And I am beginning to notice that there are some tricks to playing it that work better than others. But I am a bit confused by the way the “ghosts” move and operate.

They aren’t always chasing Pacman, I realize that now, and that is good. After all, with four against one, Pacman would never win if they were always ganging up against him. But they do some things that suprise me. For example, after all the energy dots are gone, they all seem to go wild, and chase that poor guy until he seems to have choice but to surrender. Are they supposed to do that? Is there any strategy I could use in that situation? Also, they do something I find very odd, also usually when he is out of the energy dots. They corner him! Seriously, two of them come after him in such a way, he has no possible avenue of escape. How do you deal with that situation? Is there anyone who plays Pacman on these boards that knows? And while were at, and back to my original point, why do they chase him at times and not others? Is there any way to predict how Blinky, Pinky, Inkey and Clyde will act from one moment to the next?

I wasn’t sure at first if this question belonged in MPSIMS. But upon careful reflection, I have decided it is a factual question.

Thanking anyone in advance who offers their help, ~JB:)

You don’t know about the patterns? I thought every Pac-Man freak knew about the patterns. Anyway, I’ve been able to find a MAME page that describes five patterns in the classic Pac-Man. Here they are, complete with screenshots.

Basically, it comes down to this: The ghosts’ motion can be defeated via the application of the patterns on the site. Go through those motions, and you don’t even have to think. Here is a more verbose description of the same patterns.

Yeah, each ghost has its own “personality” and with it, style to reach pac-man. There is even a spot on the board where you can ‘park’ pac-man and the ghosts will never get him. Paterns are also cool, I never memorized them, as pacman is older than I am… (I was born in 82) there is the complete book “How to win at Pac Man” in PDF format for free at

(You have to click on pacman)

Paterns and other tid-bits are offered here.

I have two variations of the classic Pac Man, but I play the Microsoft version because it is exactly like the old game.

The ghosts do move in a different pattern after about three levels. The “patterns” are the key. Back around 79-80 when Pac man was the BIG game (Pac Man was a phenomenon back between about 79-82) my father bought me a book with all the patterns in it. I studied the patterns and then became “straight key” efficient on the game. Then the owners changed the program to where the ghosts do different things destroying my game plans and allowing me to play much less.

Some of the higher levels are what I call “rest” levels, where the ghosts stay blue longer than three seconds. The second apple and the second key are examples of this. There is one more rest level, but they are always the second symbol (second apple, second lime etc.)

Now, almost 25 years later, I vaguely remember the pattern routine, I play it the same about halfway through the board then freestyle the rest. My high score stands at 116,600, and I have made it to level 16 (Cherry, 2 peaches, 2 apples, 2 limes, 2 galagas (spaceships), 2 bells and 5 keys.)

Hmm. Seems the game’s been “beaten”. Dude used 1 quarter, 1 man, and ate all the ghosts for the max score of 3,333,360. I always felt good getting to level 2. :confused: