Wednesday, August 24, 2005

You Never Miss It Until It's Gone

Recently, to the delight of my co-workers, I installed MAME on our pathetic office computer. Donkey Kong was specifically requested by one fellow employee, and for myself, I brought along Mr. Do! (which they all seem to enjoy a lot) and several titles from the Pac-Man series, including a vintage gem which was released to the world at about the same time I was, and which holds a special place in my heart: Super Pac-Man.

I love this game in particular because I used to own one of the cabinets. Around the time I was eight or nine years old it arrived at our house to take its place among Mr. Do! and Donkey Kong, and was greeted with open arms by this Pac-Fan. Many late nights were spent in the garage playing in my own miniature arcade. The glow of the marquees! The smell of the machines! The fact that they were all set on free play! This was my Xanadu, my Shangri-La. However, if one who has found Shangri-La ever leaves...

I took it for granted. I got a little tired of the same three games after a while, as anyone would. They found a home in our basement, where they still received attention, only... a little less. Eventually, I was the only one who would play, and even then, there were long stretches, often several weeks, between games. My father eventually decided that he would get rid of the two stand-up cabinets, without consulting with me first. I was powerless. I had lost Super Pac-Man, and I didn't even have a chance to say goodbye.

It sounds like I never touched the thing, but that's not at all true. I did play it a lot... and it made me good. When I was hot, I was HOT. 100,000 points was a bad run for me. At my peak, I was able to push past the 16th screen, though my memory is fuzzy past that. Still, I recall breaking 300,000 points fairly well. I was HOT.

After playing at work and clearing 100k while playing with a keyboard (which does not afford optimum control), I checked the high scores for Super Pac-Man on Twin Galaxies. Some of the ones there are higher than my best, but some are lower, by over 100,000 points! WHY NOT ME?! Why am I unable to take my place in the hall of heroes, the greatest Super Pac-Man players of all time?

I will join them someday, when I have been reunited with Super Pac-Man, thus ending my separation anxiety. Until that day, I will gnaw on tennis balls, hoping that I shall become a giant, like my hero... the round one.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, you are dating Miss Pac-Man, so you might have a chance to be like your hero. But keep eating those tennis balls and chasing ghosts just in case. *grins*
I'd so get you video game machines if I had the monies. *huggles*

6:52 PM  

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