Debunking the claims that Billy Mitchell was not the first to get the perfect Pac-Man.
In this multi-part series Triforce Johnson debunks the so called "smoking guns" people claim to have that proves Billy Mitchell was not the first to get a Perfect Pac-Man score.
"As 2018 looms over horizon, the machine for the Industrial eSports Revolution is virtually complete. It's task is to take eSports into its 3rd Age and capitalize on it as it has never been done before. The suits will see to this for sure. In that there will be many issues that will conflict with the history of eSports. These challenges however are expected and will be dealt with at the appropriate time. For now, there are domestic forces marshaled against the very foundation of eSports forged by the Father himself Walter Day that needs to be addressed. The time for remaining silent has ended and although I preferred to have waited until after I was inducted into the International Video Game Hall of Fame and Museum this war can not remain invisible no more. "
Part 3: David Race, an expert on Pac-Man and the World Record Holder on the fastest Perfect Pac-Man Score.
The Invisible War III: Defending a eSports Legend
Part 2: Billy Mitchell responds to his critics for the first time!
The Invisible Wars II: Featuring Billy Mitchell
Part 1: Bill Hoffman of Ottumwa talks about the upcoming Video Game Hall of Fame ceremonies.
The Invisible Wars: Featuring Bill Hoffman Jr.
And a prequel if you will...
PACMAN Legend Billy Mitchell Accused for being a Fraud! Again?
"The Saga continues. The last couple of months has just been s series of accusation, one after another regarding the Elder gods in gaming. This time a new video surfaced attacking PAC-MAN legend #Billy_Mitchell. The new accusation is that he is not the first person to have been recorded to achieve the Perfect PAC-MAN score. Despite his efforts to make sure all the requirements needed to be done was fulfilled via protocol, there are still descanting voices accusing him of being a fraud. Its almost as if there are forces marshaled at trying to strip away every single accomplishment these legends in gaming have achieved. The questions that now come to the front is why and who will stand up and fight to preserve these legends in gaming?"
A few comments...none of which re-iterates old arguments.
1st - the very definition of what constitutes a "perfect Pacman"...5+1 settings and 3,333,360 points...did not even exist until early 1999 (and to qualify further what I just said, read the 5th point below)
2nd - there very well may have been some unheralded players who achieved a "perfect" on the more standard 3+1 settings with 3,333,180 points in the many years before 1999. So it is more fair to qualify the claim...that his was the first TG-verified "perfect Pacman" under the very definition of 5+1 settings and a max score of 3,333,360 which implies reaching the kill screen on your 1st life and getting all the dots that follow.
3rd - There is no disputing the precise verbiage of the claim. But...to be perfectly fair and objective...it is not a proven, matter of fact that no one else performed an unheralded 3,333,180 under 3+1 settings in the 18 years prior.
4th - Considering that an estimated billion plus quarters were pumped into the game...likely more than half of this pre-1999...it is inconceivable that not one single person achieved a score of 3,333,180 points out of more than 500 million worldwide attempts. Think about this...the odds of winning Powerball are only 1-in-292 million in comparison.
Now for a point that HAS been made multiple times in the past...
5th - for those who do not know of the history of the 5+1 decision...the year was 1999. I was not even a TG referee at the time. A lot happened that year in New Hampshire inclusive of the first annual ACAM event where Rick Fothergill achieved a then-record of 3,333,270 using 5+1 settings, dying once thus coming shy by 90 points. An amusing inside anecdote...look at the very bottom of some of the poster graphics that Bill had designed over the years and see the 9 dots there...that's a friendly jibe at Bill's buddy Rick for that attempt.
Key point here is that Rick, at the 1st ACAM event, was already playing at 5+1 settings. The actual decision as to why TG even tracked these settings was due to an off-forum decision made by Walter Day and a consortium of three of the "pac-masters" of that era inclusive of Bill Mitchell and Chris Ayra. The story varies due to who you ask and due to this happening now 18 years prior whether the third person was Rick Fothergill or Neal Chapman, another Canadian pac-master.
Anyway, TG had been up to that point tracking and accepting 3+1 scores. But the gamers convinced Walter to accept 5+1 for the sole purpose that should any of them achieve a recognized 3,333,180 and if someone should subsequently achieve a 3,333,360 then that would dilute the historic importance of the achievement, thus Walter incorporated this anomaly of a decision into TG's Book of Rules and going-forward TG accepted 5+1 settings but ONLY if it resulted in a perfect game. In other words, you could not submit a score of maybe 400K with 5+1 settings...all lower scores must still be submitted with the 3+1 settings.
That was the origin of the 5+1 decision as I understand it. I won't delve into what happened afterwards, but the point that I want to make here is this...after 18 years since 1981, why all of a sudden is 3,333,360 "perfect" and not "3,333,180" ? Perfect according to who...four people (at the time) who came to a consensus, none of which either designed the game or had any rights to the game ?
I can understand 3,333,180 as being the highest achievable score, even higher than the maximum score without finding the hidden dots. Those dots are part of the program...whether intended by the programmer or not...they are consistently there anytime you reach the kill screen, thus they should be factored into the score should anyone find them during gameplay.
I never liked from a referee-perspective the 5+1 decision as it was a complete anomaly, incongruous with all previous decisions and out of line with all known TG statutes within the "Book of Rules" that Walter maintained (basically, at the time, a grey binder with page after page of arcade game settings and decisions, a binder that he entrusted me with at some point while I was TG chief referee and when he forwarded hundreds of tapes and a few TG documents to me for safekeeping).
However, the decision had been in place as far back as early 1999, by 2001 the concept and rules/results of a "perfect" in the game were drilled into the heads of most who frequented the TG site. Very, very few people even questioned the legitimacy of even the need for the rule by that point.
Now, take a step back in time to 1998 and prior.
TG had re-surfaced at some point within the 1996-1997 range, and by 1998 was online with a forum...a fairly cheesy forum, but a forum nonetheless. No one was even discussing a "perfect Pacman" back then or "5+1 settings". The rule at the time was 3+1 settings, and the TG-verfiied world record from that era was most definitely NOT 3,333,360 or even 3,333,180.
I can see TG heralding the first 3,333,180 score as being "perfect" should anyone have presented it to TG at that point in time, just as I can envision TG not accepting a 5+1 submission...JUST as TG rejected Steve Wiebe's first-ever contact to TG announcing a new DK world record but at 6+1 settings...I know as I fielded that E-MAIL back in my early days of chief referee for TG.
SO if TG could reject a 6+1 DK world record submission due to incorrect settings, TG surely could have rejected a 5+1 Pacman world record submission on the very same grounds.
There was NO reason to adopt a 5+1 setting.
That aside, what's done is done, and Bill is the first person with a TG-verified "perfect Pacman" as it was defined in 1999 by Walter, Bill, Chris and a third participant.
On a side note...
Time Balderamos was the first person to achieve a "perfect Pacman" on MAME...and he actually did it on 3+1 settings before being told that TG accepted 5+1 settings so he did it again and still was the first person to achieve a "perfect Pacman", though now with 180 extra points. And Tim holds another unofficial record...he's the first gamer to achieve a "perfect Pacman" at 5+1 settings on BOTH the arcade and MAME platforms. Just an historical FYI for those who are unaware.
ADDENDUM (10/12) - not for nothing, but when you say Walter is the "Father" of eSports, that should be just "father"...let's not deify Walter
Last edited by RTM; 10-12-2017 at 07:15 AM.
RTM's reply was spot on, which is worthy of logging in to say as much.
I have known Walter longer than anyone around here on this site and I can tell you RTM really understands the sordid dynamics well, I hope you guys are listening.
--Some items to support what he is trying to tell you.
In the mid to late 90s, MAME had re-engaged a legion of us dormant arcade junkies. Walter was aware and he wanted to get the band back together (Blues Brothers reference) but the media focal points of the past were busy with life. Steve Harris was off to magazine business, Ben Gold was busy, Eric Ginner was busy with the video game industry...but Billy was willing to be the media focus and help form the Billy and Walter show. They still play multiple events a month and it is a solid routine.
Religion has always been the best marketing in all of history, which is why Walter has never been too far from using a similar religious zeal to pitch the idea of Twin Galaxies. He isn't a god, a prophet, or a saint, he isn't even an ordained minister. There are other ways to market one's self without latching onto Walter's legacy of pseudo-religous TG pitches.
If you were alive and of quarter owning age in 1981ish, you probably knew at least two 9th key patterns. The game was just powerfully prolific, it isn't even easy to describe how big Pacman was in public at that time. Everyone and their parents had tried it and most were 9th key good. Due to the lack of random decision making with the ghosts in their proximity to the player, almost any movement you do as a player will turn into a predictable pattern. I believe the tie breaker is always, Up, Down, Left, Right in how a ghost will move. Been awhile since I played or read the dossierre site....
But this is all likely spitting in the wind, since I clearly understand that TG is modeling real sports, and real sports have an element of "constant heated conflict" to closely paraphrase or quote Mr. Hall. :)
Oh by the way, if you are here because you enjoy true arcade history, check out this Time Out video clip. The place was around before Twin Galaxies, had high score challenges before Twin Galaxies, and it is still around it is just branded with a different name. Learn your history, folks. It is fascinating and far more expansive than just the blip on the radar called TG. There is a whole universe to explore.... https://youtu.be/1aN-9bju1fg
So carry on, signing off.
Good work RTM. :)
Funny that you should bring in the religious element...I "exposed" this years back when I created an article for the sake of entertainment regarding "The Church of MAME" which does mention TG.
While the original thread is LONG since gone, the text is preserve here - //spyhunter007.com/robert_mrucz...ch_of_mame.htm
Very interesting stuff, thanks to both of you for some historical insight. I will look into the items both of you posted. I am at a restaurant right now so my bandwidth sucks.
In pro-golf, decades back, the concept of the "grand slam" was created...the accepted parameters were understood to be that all four (4) "majors" must be won within the same year.
Decades later Tiger Woods claimed he achieved a grand slam...according to his own interpretation which sports media later referred to as the "Tiger Slam" in which the four majors are won concurrently but across years.
Switching to horse racing, the "Triple Crown" is when a single horse, within the same year, wins all three of the pre-determined "majors". To date no horse owner has claimed to achieve this feat when the three races were won concurrently but across two seasons.
Now to "Pacman".
There was no "governing body" at the very beginning. In fact, there is none even now as TG never has "governed" anything. It's not the end-all/be-all of video gaming rules. The speed run community exists with its own parameters as does the FPS community and MARP. The Mario Kart 64 community created its own rules for payers across the globe, same for the FZX community and others.
The point being, at the very beginning there was no pre-conceived notion of what a "perfect" game was on this title, not until 18 years after the title was released, and only based on an outside-of-the-public-eye/behind-closed-doors decision, so to speak, as decided upon by four individuals...three of which shared a vested outcome in the decision itself.
In baseball the concept of a "perfect game" was first mentioned as far back as 1908 in a sports article, and again in 1922 in a sports encyclopedia. A major newspaper came close to describing an 1880's game to the modern-era parameters.
However, unlike gaming, baseball as an entity called the "Committee for Statistical Accuracy" which, in 1991, formalized the definition which differed in some respects from the earlier accepted notions.
Back to gaming. TG, in its decision to create this definition, acted as both the MLB and their "Committee for Statistical Accuracy" at the same time, effectively not having an impartial adjudication arm setting forth governance issues. This is not unlike a court system acting as both judge and jury simultaneously....just saying.
I understand that TG sets the tone for record tracking...I was part of the very mechanism myself at one point...but this decision was unlike any other.
The title itself in terms of gameplay is nothing special...one of hundreds of maze-based game albeit a very popular one. However, it's scoring potential is unique in that it is both capped and includes (now) some non-traditional points...just a few, but some nonetheless. Further, the cap of the score is not attributed to a score freeze such as 999,999 in "Lode Runner", nor is it the result of a Mersenne Prime number being reached (one of my social media games, "Castle Age", has an experience cap that maxes at such a value).
What sets this decision apart from all others in TG history was the inclusion of the two extra lives for no other reason that sake of ego preservation. After all, if TG defined the rules as 3+1 and the resultant max score of 3,333,180 what would it matter if someone down the line said they did 3,333,360 ? For starters they found 18 extra dots...whoopdy-freaking-do. Second, it wouldn't count any more than hitting a new world record for longest home run would if you used a bat that did not meet the maximum weight requirement in the MLB. Even so, to mollify all of three gamers out of the millions across the globe, this incongruous decision was made, not unlike a targeted congressional resolution on tax law that is designed to impact a single pre-determined business.
All this being said, establishing a "definition" of what constitutes a "perfect game" so long after the fact, especially in light of individuals who had earlier been recognized in the media for the efforts on achieving an earlier notion of what a "perfect game" was, is a disservice to the earlier gamer(s).
In one respect, TG effectively took away their previous accomplishment without so much as fact-checking what they had previously accomplished. And in another respect, TG had demonstrated to the gaming community that much as lawmakers can custom tailor laws to benefit certain special interest groups, TG can do the same for favoured gamers. (See *1 below)
When you think about things objectively, Bill MItchell, Chris Ayra and that third gamers were, for all intent and purpose, lobbyists, while Walter Day in his role of chief scorekeeper for TG, was their legislator/lawmaker. This was a clear case of quid-pro-quo if there ever was one, let there be no doubt of that.
None of what I just said takes away from the fact of Billy achieving the first TG-recognized "perfect game"...as defined by TG. It was just an unsavory path to reach that point.
In comparison, "Ms Pacman" has no fixed point value due to the random fruit thus has never been subjected to TG scrutiny as to what constitutes a "perfect" game beyond getting all the dots, fruits and blue-time points.
Same for "Pacman Plus" due to the additional point potential. Or for "Junior Pacman" due to the moving fruit running over the dots thus increasing their value (and the game difficulty commensurately).
Thus the "perfect Pacman" decision stands apart from all other TG decisions. Let's ask ourselves all these years later...
-> Was it TG's "right" to decide what constituted a "perfect game" ?
-> Was it "right" for the decision to be made as a direct result of, effectively, three interested lobbyists petitioning a single decision-maker/"lawmaker" ?
-> Was it "right" for TG to make such a decision without taking into consideration previous documented accomplishments on that title ?
At this point what's done is done. It was an ego-driven decision to be sure, let there be no illusion as to that. But was it "right" ? Was it TG's "right" to set the bar ?
Guinness does so all the time so perhaps it could be accepted that TG had earned the right set establish that bar. But doing so based on "lobbyists" and adopting that 5+1 rule...that never sat well with me when I was chief referee for TG and to this day I suppose it never will. All to benefit three (3) gamers (at that time) out of the millions that existed worldwide, and without regard to whatever their previous accomplishments on that title might have been, documented or not. The ethics surrounding that decision quite simply reek.
(*1) Addendum (10/14/17)
Back in 2005, when Abdner Ashman submitted a new WR on "Ms Pacman" which eclipsed that of Chris Ayra, two (2) gamers petitioned to not have that record accepted by TG because of "concern" that the submitter had achieved, based on his own testimony, three (3) 8-screen "kill screen" games in a row. Their concern was because their collective experience at the title since inception, including that of Rick Fothergill from Canada who was NOT part of this petition, had lead to only seven or eight 8-screen "kill screen" games in total across the previous 20+ years.
They surmised that something "must be wrong" with the performance or the environment and as a direct result, at my own expense, the boardset was tested by Spike of Lupine Systems, a known industry expert, and it was determined that Abdner's boardset was fine as well as the environment that he was playing in...I'm no technical expert but if memory serves he was playing in a "DC environment with an DC-to-AC adapter" or something to that effect. Anyway, the technical expert confirmed that based on his own expertise that would have zero impact on the outcome of the performance.
Nonetheless, the two petitioners STILL were adamant that the performance should not be recognized by TG, but Walter and I firmly believed that it had to be and so it was.
On a related note, about a year earlier and QUITE famously in the forums, Steve Wiebe had submitted via VHS tape the first 1M score on "Donkey Kong". Due to information provided to TG by Brian Kuh as documented in "King of Kong", final validation of the score was placed on hold by TG, but the petition for this came not from TG itself but from certain gamers with a vested interest in the outcome of this title.
Pacman, Ms Pacman, Donkey Kong...does anyone smell a "pattern" emerging here, pun fully intended ? There, I've said it. I am holding my complete thoughts on these matters in check no longer. I've said my peace in the past on a per-title-basis within this very forum but never as a whole before. Enough is enough already. Eyes have to be opened and the blinders have to be taken off once and for all.
Last edited by RTM; 10-14-2017 at 01:07 PM.
I JJT Johhny Was There at Grand Prix Race 'O' Rama Worlds Largest Arcade Game room Est 4,000 Plus Classic Arcade Games Open 24 Hours Built like a Castle Rows of 20 to 30 Pac Man, Defender, etc. a Awesome Site to Behold.
The Original was off University Drive & State Rd 84 close to the Florida Turnpike in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in the 80's
I JJT Johnny lived only 1/2 a Mile from there.
Many Great Classic Arcade Game Players Played their to Name a Few Me Juan Torres JJT, Doris Self, Jack Gale,Chris Ayra, Billy Mitchael, Stephan Krogman, Steve Harris, Just to Name few.
Well back in 81-86'' Chris Ayra & Billy Mitchael They Spent the Late Night Hours working on Ms.Pac Man,Pac Man, They Would Take Notes and Ask the Game Tech to Rack Advance to the Split Screen
Later Donkey Kong & DK jr. They Already Achieved 3,333,360 their. Long Before When Billy did it Live for all the World to See
Last edited by JJT_Defender; 10-13-2017 at 05:27 PM.
Their was K-9 Academy & Carvel close on State rd 84 then.
Originally Posted by jjt_defender
RTM REPLY - that parallels something I was told years back by either Bill, Chris or Dwayne...it's been too long, can't remember which. In any event, those performances were never "TG-verified".
You have to wonder, for a moment...WHY, would the player who held simultaneous scores on DK, DK Jr, Burgertime, etc, and his buddy with the Ms Pac WR, never have submitted or even attempted at a live event back in the day a "perfect Pacman". Why the wait until 1999 ? TG was practically dead from 1987-1996 so what would have been the point in keeping such an achievement out of the public's eye ?
Back in the day TG accepted VHS taped performances...I wonder if those earlier 3,333,360's were ever taped ? I guess we will never know.
Actually the First One to get a Perfect Pac Man was At Grand Prix Race 'O' Rama was
Chris Ayra and he is a Better Pac Man Player over all