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Level 256 and The Perfect Pac-Man Score

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Level 256 and The Perfect ScorePac-Man wasn’t supposed to have a perfect score. It wasn’t supposed to end. But it does end because of a glitch — the level 256 glitch.


Levels 1 through 255 look exactly the same. But when the player gets to 256 a memory error occurs, causing half the playing field to be rendered as gobbledygook. It’s impossible to eat all the pellets, so it’s impossible to beat the level. The game must end with Pac-Man’s Quixotic demise.

Every level has a maximum score — there’s a maximum number of pellets, ghosts, and fruit you can eat. At first a perfect score is a lot of work, since you must eat every ghost with every power pellet. The ghosts are vulnerable for less and less time every level. After level 19, they’re never vulnerable. Add up the perfect level scores, and you get the perfect game score. 3,333,360 points.

It's hard to imagine having the wrist strength to play the maze 256 times in a row.

Only six people have ever achieved a perfect score in the past three decades.

But that's better than the perfect game of Donkey Kong, which has only been achieved once and was the subject of a documentary that is all kinds of awesome: A Fistful of Quarters.


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