Check out the maze from designer Toru Iwatani’s recently-divulged Pac-Man concept sketches, side-by-side with the final arcade version:
They’re different! Why? As the story goes, after one too many blind Tokyo alleys, Iwatani expunged dead ends from the prototype. A fortuitous accident in modulo-28 space created the tunnels. And the more expansive overall feel of the final maze? The details are hazy, but my sources whisper something about a retreat to the American Southwest. And peyote.
Of course, I made the last paragraph up, but whatever happened, thank you lucky star! For without Pac-Man’s addictive gameplay – amplified by the improved maze, no doubt – I might have never met his girlfriend: Ms. Pac-Man.
Oh, Ms. Pac-Man, and the crazy bowling alley days that we spent together! To preserve those precious memories, I shall model my labyrinthine countryside manor after her immaculate first level. Every detail will be included, from the power pellets and food on the floor to the roaming fruit and ghosts!
Except for Blinky. That dude’s a flippin’ bastard.