JavaScript-PacMan 3D

JavaScript-PacMan 3D
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collapseAbout JavaScript-PacMan 3D

"JavaScript-PacMan 3D" is another step in the evolution of the famous "JavaScript-PacMan". This game is written in pure JavaScript and doesn't require any plug-ins or other extensions. If Flash-Player 9.0 or higher is detected, an additional Flash-movie is used to provide the sounds.

The use of sound may affect the animation speed of the game.
Set the sound slider to zero to optimize the game for slower machines.

The original version of "JavaScript-PacMan" was designed as a demo-page for an advanced employment of JavaScript animation techniques. The first version (for Netscape Navigator 3.0) was published in late 1996/Jan.1997 and might well have been the first arcade style game on the web implemented in JavaScript only!

"JavaScript-PacMan 3D" presents a Pac-Man-like game in an orthogonal 3D-projection. The dimensions of the maze and the game play now resemble more closely to the original Pac-Man game (e.g.: each ghost features its individual personalitiy). "JavaScript-PacMan 3D" comes with 3 sets of levels (5 layouts each) and a shuffle play mode.

The game supports 3 different game engines (selectable from the "Game play"-menu):

  • "Generic"-mode is the normal mode of the game, using the "JavaScript-PacMan"-engine.
  • "Pac-Man"-mode mimics the behavior of the orignal Pac-Man game.
  • "Ms. Pac-Man"-mode uses the Ms. Pac-Man figure as well as some Ms. Pac-Man-like sounds. As "Pac-Man"-mode this mode mimics the A.I. of the original game.

So you get three games in one!
For more on the differences of these modes see the section on ghosts and game play below.

Besides shuffle play there are three other special modes selectable from the "Mazes"-menu:

  • "Pac-Man" provides the game play and A.I. of the original Pac-Man game.
  • "Ms. Pac-Man" uses the original level layouts of Ms. Pac-Man and uses the "Ms. Pac-Man"-engine.
  • "Ms. Pac-Man Plus" provides the levels of the classic 1981 hack Ms. Pac-Man Plus.
    – As this is a variant of Ms. Pac-Man it also uses the "Ms. Pac-Man"-engine.

So in fact it's six games in one!
Note: Selecting one of these two maze-modes will override any settings of the "Game play"-menu.

High scores are supported separately for each individual combination of levels and game-play settings. (You have to have cookies enabled in order to store high scores permanently.).

Reset high scores on this machine

How to Play

Anyone who doesn't know Pac-Man?   Really?   O.K. – That's how to play:

Guide the Pac-Man, the munching yellow ball, through the maze and eat all the food, the little white dots laid out all around the passages. But be aware of the ghosts: they will give their best to pursue and catch you. (Using "JavaScript-PacMan's" generic game engine the ghosts will become more intelligent and dangerous in higher levels.)
There are also some bigger pellets: the power pills. Swallow one of these to become invincible for a few seconds. Now – while the ghosts are turned blue – you my haunt those nasty runners for some extra points.

A propos scoring: You will collect an extra live for every 10000 points (but you may not have more than five lives in stock).

Moving / Controls

Use the cursor keys or the numeric keypad to navigate the pac-man.

You may also use the following keys:


Other controls:

  N....New game
P or ESC....Pause / resume

Touch Screens / Mouse Control

Control the pac-man by strokes (mouse gestures) at the maze:

  • Click (tap) anywhere in the maze and drag the pointer in the desired direction.
    (You may steer in advance, not only when the pac-man is just encountering a crossing.)
  • Double-click (tap rapidly twice) to pause/resume the game.
  • Use the "New Game" button to start a new game.
  • Special Moves:
    You may even use compound gestures (e.g.: left and up in a single movement): Steer in the first direction, keep the mouse down and steer in the next direction just after the turn.
    This may be especially useful to navigate through winding passages as you haven't to click again for every turn.

Ghost, Movements, and Personalities (A.I.)


"Monsters" and their names according to Namco™/Midway™ 1980.

Each ghost features its individual "personality" and style of movement:

  • Blinky, the red one, will follow in your tracks.
  • Pinky, the second one, will try to get in front of you in order to "sandwich" you together with Blinky. (This might render Pinky the most dangerous of them all.)
  • Inky, the turquoise one, is a bit unpredictable and will take different turns at different times.
  • Clyde, the yellow one, is either a bit short-sighted or is not in it with his heart at all. However, Clyde will often follow his own ways, seemingly unwilling to take part in the other's chase.

From time to time all four of the ghosts will cease their pursuit and will head for the four corners of the maze, just to launch a new wave of attack. The game always starts in this so-called "scatter mode" for a short period of time.

Game Engines & A.I.-Modes

  • Generic Mode
    Using JavaScript-PacMan's generic engine the ghosts will become more consequent in their strategies and as more challenging as an opponent while the game commences. So the difficultly of the game will rise from level to level.
    Unlike with many other Pac-Man games (including the original) the ghosts won't reverse their direction deliberately, but only as they encounter each other or possibly at the end of a "pill-phase".
    In contrast to the two other modes the ghosts do not slow down in tunnels (or teleports) leading from one side of the maze to the other. So you won't be able to increase your distance to the ghosts, on the other hand you are not in danger to bump into any slowly moving ghost as you enter a tunnel with Pac-Man.
  • Pac-Man Mode
    In "Pac-Man"-mode the ghosts switch to a different set of movements and behaviors mimicking the original games' A.I. more closely. As this approach uses a fixed evaluation scheme for the ghosts' movements, higher levels are not per se more difficult to play as lower levels.
    With the latest update you may even develop patterns that bring you through each of the levels. (Still, patterns developed for the original game will hardly work for the difference in dimensions and timing detail.)
  • Ms. Pac-Man Mode
    "Ms. Pac-Man"-mode delights you with the return of the Ms. Pac-Man character and some of the sounds of the original game. Also this mode will switch to the A.I. of the original game: The logic of Ms. Pac-Man differs from that of Pac-Man by an attempt to redistribute the ghosts' individual target corners for scatter mode. (In scatter mode the ghost stop their chase and aim for their "home-corners".) Due to what appears to be a bug in the logic of the original Ms. Pac-Man game, the ghosts redistribute their scatter targets by every move, resulting in a somewhat erratic close-to-random behavior in scatter mode.

In both "Pac-Man"-mode and "Ms. Pac-Man"-mode ghosts will reverse directions while entering frightened mode or when they enter or exit scatter mode. Opposed to the game's generic A.I. – see above – ghosts will not reverse as they encounter each other or at the end of frightened mode. (So any reversal of directions indicates a change of modes.)

Note: While in both "original" modes the timings of frighten, scatter modes, and the ghost pen sequence are close to the "real thing" (proportionally translated to the smaller grid), all other timings remain the same as in "generic" mode: variable Pac-Man-speeds and "cornering" are not supported. As with the original games ghost-movements are evaluated one step in advance.

For detailed information on the logic of the original game of Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man see Jamey Pittman's definite guide to the Pac-Man-A.I.: The Pac-Man Dossiers.

Bonus Fruits

You may collect an extra bonus by eating one of the fruits that appear twice a level:

  cherries strawberry peach apple melon key

In contrast to the original game there are only 5 different types of fruit (cherries, strawberry, peach, apple, melon – worth 100, 300, 500, 700, and 1000) and the key (3000). In Pac-Man mode levels 11 and up the key is worth a bonus of 5000.

Each of the modes (see above) features its own way to handle the bonus fruits: While the fruit will move around in generic mode, it will stay stationary in Pac-Man mode. Ms. Pac-Man mode features a moving fruit entering and leaving the maze by the tunnels.

"Ms. Pac-Man" and "Ms. Pac-Man Plus" Maze Modes

  cherries strawberry peach pretzel apple pear banana

If you choose to play the levels of Ms. Pac-Man or those of the classic hack Ms. Pac-Man Plus, there are seven different fruits: cherries, strawberry, peach, pretzel, apple, pear and banana – worth 100, 200, 500, 700, 1000, 2000, and 5000. Levels 7 and up will show a random choice of these bonus items.

Levels and Layouts

You may select any of these sets of maze-layouts from the "Mazes" pop-up menu:

  • Continuous (all): Roam all 15 levels available, consisting of the following sets:
  • Pac Levels: Sweet memories of Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man (5 levels).
  • Alternate Levels: A set of another 5 levels. (© mass:werk)
  • Ghosts' Levels: A level to represent each ghost and a 5th bonus level. (© mass:werk)

Special play modes (also in the "Mazes" menu):

  • Pac-Man: Repeats the original Pac-Man layout. This also modifies the ghosts' behavior!
  • Ms. Pac-Man: Play Ms. Pac-Man with the original 4 levels. (You've to play each level twice.).
  • Ms. Pac-Man Plus: Play the 4 levels of this classic Ms. Pac-Man hack (levels to be played twice).
    These levels are only available with this special mode!
  • Shuffle Play: Pick a random mix from all levels available.

Sound Integration

A tiny Adobe Flash movie (swf-file) is used as a simple sound player in case that Flash Player 9.0 or higher is detected. This provides a robust cross-browser sound integration in absence of any real world standard for sound integration and scripted sound control. Flash is not used for any other purpose – the game works just the same without the Flash plug-in. (Even the volume control is implemented in DHTML, just for the fun of it.)

Pac-Man Trivia

The original Pac-Man arcade game (which differs in some ways from this game) was first released by Namco (licensed and distributed in the U.S. by Midway) in May 1980. The game was originally named "Puck-Man" (from paku paku – Japanese slang describing the motion of an opening and closing mouth while eating), and was renamed to conform to the North American market.

Eventually Pac-Man became the most successful video game ever, causing even a coin shortage in Japan. It is listed as the all time number one at the "Top 100 Videogames" of the Killer List of Videogames.

One of the most important off-springs was Ms. Pac-Man (released 1981 by Midway / GCC – General Computer Corporation, later Namco). While the original Pac-Man featured a single maze and deterministic ghost movements, Ms. Pac-Man introduced changing mazes and some random to the ghosts resulting in a more varying game play.
(The game had been originally developed by GCC as an unofficial "enhancement" to Pac-Man named "Crazy Otto" and was eventually demoed to Midway, who bought the rights and released an overhauled version of the game. None of the original "Crazy Otto" games survived, but a picture in a 1982 Time magazine article. There where at least three machines at test locations in Boston and Chicago.)

Also in 1981 surfaced an "enhanced" — or rather hacked — version of Ms. Pac-Man named Ms. Pac-Man Plus (by Two-Bits Score). While exchanging the maze layouts of the original game by a set of 4 new level designs it also introduced some new features or — more correctly — bugs: Since only the information of the level layouts, but not the path information for the fruits' moves or the information on tunnel entrances were exchanged, fruits would move through the walls of the new mazes and ghosts would miraculously slow down as they passed the locations of the tunnels of the original levels. (While "JavaScript-PacMan 3D" provides the new layouts, it does not emulate those bugs/features.)


All scripts and images: © 1996-2008 Norbert Landsteiner, mass:werk – media environments

All rights reserved. No copying or publication without the author's written permission.

3D-images rendered with POV-Ray 3.6.
Title typogrophy: CrackMan.ttf.

Version History

JavaScript-PacMan 3D – released in december 2008 (based on JavaScript-PacMan 2).
May 2009: Implemented an alternate ghosts' logic for "Pac-Man"-mode and "Ms. Pac-Man"-mode.
June 2009: Now we finally feature some fruits!
June 2009: Added another set of 4 levels for "Ms. Pac-Man plus" mode.
July 2009: Revised ghost pen sequence for "Pac-Man"-mode and "Ms. Pac-Man"-mode.
Aug. 2009: Added permanent high-scores and settings.
Sept 2009: Added support for Google Chrome Frame.
July 2010: Changed cookie format, added persistent sound settings.

For a detailed description of the various modes see the extensive "Modes & Features" page.


  • Orthographic 3D-projection with depth control
  • Game play closely related to original game (e.g.: scatter mode, individual ghost personalities)
  • 3 sets of levels (5 different mazes each) plus an additional set of 4 levels for Ms. Pac-Man Plus.
  • Continuous play through all available levels and shuffle mode
  • Sound integration via Flash Player 9 or better
  • Multiple input modes: keyboard and mouse control
  • Three sets of ghosts' A.I. (own and re-engineered logics of Pac-Man and Ms.Pac-Man)
  • Two special maze modes (Pac-Man and Ms.Pac-Man)
  • Permanent high-scores and settings (requires cookies enabled)
  • Support for Google Chrome Frame enhancement for MS Internet Explorer

Previous versions of JavaScript-PacMan:

  • 2007: JavaScript-PacMan 2 – new design & enhanced features
  • 2004: unified cross browser version and DOM compatibility, random maze generator
  • Aug. 1997: bigger maze for bigger screens, smooth animations (for NS 4.0 layers, MSIE 4.0 css)
  • Dec. 1996 / Jan. 1997: first release (for Netscape 3.0 and 12" screens)

see also:


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