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12-21-2020 at 09:30 AM
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"ORIGINAL Perfect Pac-Man" - 12-21-2020 01:28 PM

Some time ago, Bill Bastable sent me and a few others a reproduction of the shirt Midway Mfg. Co. gifted him in October 1982.

As far as I know, Bill Bastable is the first person to arrive at the split screen with a perfect score of 3,326,600 on his first man(September 6, 1982). He then proceeded to clear the non-glitch side of board 256, for a final score of 3,332,820. He was able to achieve this same score on multiple occasions, one having been documented in a newspaper as early as the first half of 1983. This was before Billy Mitchell and Chris Ayra were said to have achieved unofficial perfect games in late 1983 and early 1984.

Mr. Bastable, after an initial visit with Chris Ayra in October 1986, was able to map out the split-screen to determine where all the regenerating dots were on the glitch half of board 256. In 1988 he was able to put this research into practice by playing on his home machine to achieve the highest possible score of 3,333,360 on 5+1 settings. Although I do not consider the game to be legitimate, based on the fact he used dip switch 8 to pause it in order to take breaks, the score was actually achieved.

What is interesting is that there are some who hold the view that exploiting a glitch for more points, regardless of settings, would also be illegitimate, as would be the case with the Pac-Man split-screen.

So despite what Billy Mitchell says, that no one other than he, Chris and Walter Day had this knowledge, it is clear that Bastable not only had the knowledge, but applied it when he achieved a score of 3,333,360 for his own personal sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. This took place almost 11 years before Billy Mitchell violated the gentlemen's agreement he made with his top competitor, Rick Fothergill, when he secretly traveled to Funspot in July of 1999 to achieve a perfect score on 5+1 settings.

Given these facts, I believe Mr. William Bastable deserves the title of "The ORIGINAL Perfect Pac-Man".

  1. Almighty Dreadlock's Avatar

    Everybody who's seen 'the Perfect Fraudman' knows who Bill Bastable is, and that is good. He's a real gamer, and deserves to be recognised as the original Pac Man master, from the USA. Rick Fothergill can take the equivalent title, for Canada. Ayra is nothing. He chose to get into bed with a fake celebrity, so now he can sleep there.

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  2. The Evener's Avatar

    When a single player's "fame" becomes the overriding consideration for an organization as it brightly shines a light on their exploits, the existence of the wider community, its players, and the rich history are lost in the glare, so thank you very much for presenting a thoughtful historical corrective regarding Bill Bastable's role in Pac-Man competition. It's a shame that this history wasn't more properly recognized and celebrated by Old Twin Galaxies, and the legacy of that stance means that we're playing "catch up" in documenting and sharing the richness of that history and the players involved today.

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  3. Hermarai000's Avatar

    Bill Bastable actually froze his game in the park spot, which is where the ghosts will never get you. This hardly changes anything in my eyes, so I still see Bastable as the true first perfect Pac-Man player. It doesn't matter anyway because Bill Mitchell should've been disqualified for doing the perfect game early and without any witnesses. He has tapes, but he never actually submitted the full game and pretty much bribed others to enter the score in without proper verification.

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  4. The Evener's Avatar

    There is definitely a lot of fuzziness around the Perfect Pacs in 1999, and TG didn't exactly clarify matters. For example, the impression among non-gamers when Mitchell went to Japan was that no one else in the world had ever gotten a Perfect Pac. Notwithstanding Bastable's game, Rick Fothergill also put up a Perfect Pac at Funspot just a couple of weeks after Mitchell did, and at least 90 minutes faster to boot. It took TG less than 24 hours to issue an announcement about Mitchell's Funspot visit, but I haven't been able to find any TG announcement or press release concerning Fothergill's achievement. I guess we can speculate why the public wasn't made aware that an American and a Canadian had achieved the "holy grail" by the time Mitchell appeared in Japan. In subsequent years, I've generally noted that TG cited Fothergill in association with Super Pac-Man, but I haven't seen any mention in those mini bios about Rick's Perfect game - any "credit" for the Perfect game is limited to Mitchell's bio.

    ProveAll and others, one thing that I wondered about was Mitchell's account of the phone call with Fothergill where Mitchell alleges that he confirmed for the first time that others outside of Ayra/himself knew of the 9 regenerating dots and the true "max" score. When did the phone call confirming this "secret knowledge" actually happen?

    The attached photo is from the 1998 edition of the TG Record Book.

    I presume that the book was being typeset around Oct 1997 and ready for release by Feb 1998.

    You'll note the scores here related to the track 3 pacs plus bonus, and it cites a "highest score possible" of 3,333,180, which is a max-out that includes the 9 regenerating dots. Did the phone call with Fothergill happen in early 1997 or late 1996, and once the phone call happened, TG let the "cat out of the bag" as it were by acknowledging the secret knowledge of Mitchell/Ayra in printing a max score with the 9 regenerating dots over a year before the May 1999 Funspot tournament? Things become a bit more clear when you expand the history of Pac competition to bring in Bastable's 1988 5 + 1 score of 3,333,360 into focus - the "secret knowledge" doesn't look so secret as ProveAll points out.

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    Updated 12-22-2020 at 12:13 PM by The Evener
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