RAWBITS : Man plays perfect Pac-Man game

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Steve Cavrak

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Jul 19, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/19/99
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Man first to play perfect game of Pac-Man

July 17, 1999 Web posted at: 3:17 AM EDT (0717 GMT)

COOPER CITY, Florida (AP) -- Baseball has produced 15
perfect games in more than 120 years of the major
leagues. Now, after 19 years, Pac-Man has its first.

Billy Mitchell, 34, become the first person to master
the video arcade classic when he posted a score of
3,333,360 during the Fourth of July weekend at a New
Hampshire arcade.

"This was the race to the Holy Grail," said Mitchell, an
entrepreneur who runs two South Florida restaurants and
markets a brand of hot sauce.

No one ever had played a perfect Pac-Man game before,
said Walter Day, chief scorekeeper for the Twin Galaxies
Intergalactic Score Board and editor of its Official
Video Game and Pinball Book in Fairfield, Iowa. Game
experts call the feat a one in 10 billion phenomenon.

To attain Pac-Man perfection, one must navigate the
yellow pie-shaped title character so it gobbles each and
every dot, enemy blue ghost, energizer and fruit on the
game's 256 boards.

Mitchell accomplished the feat during a two-day quest at
Funspot Family Entertainment Center in Weirs Beach, N.H.
That's the site of the Twin Galaxies International
Classic Video Game and Pinball Tournament each May.

Starting anew each time he made a mistake, Mitchell
finally found his groove in a game that lasted almost
six hours.

"At about 1.9 million (points), I went off pattern," he
said. "I said to myself, 'I'm losing it here. I didn't
come this far to lose.' I started talking out loud to
myself, talking my way through it. I was able to cheat
death, so to speak. It was flawless the rest of the
way."

Though hardly a household name, Mitchell is famous among
video game and pinball players, whose numbers worldwide
are estimated at 500 million.

At age 17, Mitchell set the world record in Donkey Kong,
a title he still holds. Today, he holds the records for
Pac-Man, Donkey Kong and Donkey Kong Jr.

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http://www.cnn.com/US/9907/17/perfect-pac-man.ap/index.html

Copyright 1999 The Associated Press. All rights
reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast,
rewritten, or redistributed.

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