Billy Mitchell was the first person to achieve a perfect score in the arcade game Pac-Man.

Back in 2008, there was an article published entitled "The Perfect Man - How Billy Mitchell became a video-game superstar and achieved Pac-Man bliss" by David Ramsey.

When questioned about the use of hiding spots in Pac-Man, Mitchell replied:

"You don't use the hiding spots. Someone doesn't use them. I use them. I could show you how, but you wouldn't be able to do it."

The article continued:

While a crappy video-game player can improve, Mitchell's level of arcade mastery, he is convinced, cannot be taught.

I am interested in some clearly written instruction on predicting/controlling ghost movement, and using the hiding spots in Pac-Man.

Now, I've read the whole article, and watched many videos of Mitchell playing video games. They are fun and interesting to watch, but they don't really teach or educate. (It does no good to say "Just do what I'm doing" ... there needs to be explanation and instruction. I can watch what you're doing, but have no idea how you're doing it!)

For most of us, trained ability will not even come close to the level of his natural aptitude. However, I still believe that even crappy players can learn some (though maybe not all) of the "impossible" tricks with a bit of help and practice.

  • 2
    The Pac-Man Dossier gives comprehensive insight into the game's mechanics including each ghost's behavior. – Kagemusha Oct 1 '18 at 6:38
  • Wow. I am glad I asked this question. And now, based on reading through The Pac-Man Dossier, I am also voting to close my own question as too broad. – JonathanDavidArndt Oct 18 '18 at 1:42
  • This question could be simplified to ask how ghosts work, which can be answered (imo) in the space of a single SE answer -- this mostly would involve per-ghost target selection. – Schism Oct 18 '18 at 4:48

After reading through the The Pac-Man Dossier, as suggested in the comments, I understand a little more about how broad this question actually is. I expected several layers of explanation, but a proper answer really depends on comprehensive insight into nearly every one of the game's mechanics.

(The dossier is long & detailed. There is no easy way to copy just the relevant portions; and putting all of it here in a readable format would probably be flagrant plagiarism, and is not a good fit for this site.)

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