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ID Category [?] Severity [?] Reproducibility Date Submitted Last Update
05446 Gameplay Major Always Feb 3, 2014, 20:54 Jun 17, 2022, 07:05
Tester vertigo911 View Status Public Platform MAME (Official Binary)
Assigned To Resolution Open OS Windows Vista/7/8 (64-bit)
Status [?] Confirmed Driver
Version 0.152 Fixed in Version Build Normal
Fixed in Git Commit Github Pull Request #
Summary 05446: mschamp, mschamps: [possible] Malfunction with the game "Ms. Pacman Champion Edition / Super Zola Pac Gal" (Core/Speed/Dip switch)
Description Malfunction with the game " Ms. Pacman Champion Edition / Super Zola Pac Gal " that occurs in all MAME versions that we tried (including: 061 , 066 , 106 , 126..)
OS: Windows XP, Windows 7 (32-bit), Windows 7 (64-bit)

I play this game on the Arcade machine so I know how it works:

(1) Pac's speed – When the game works correctly pac has 2 possible speeds, one is the default fast speed and the other is the turbo fastest speed which occurs only as long as the player pushes the turbo button and keep holding it down, and when the player lets go of the turbo button the speed changes back to the default fast speed.

The default fast speed is faster than the original pac speed of the original Ms pacman game, and the turbo fastest speed is faster than the default fast speed.

BUT on MAME there is no option to control the pac speed, which randomly changes between the three speeds (default fast or turbo or original pac speed) – changing sometimes at the beginning of a new level or after losing a life. The button that should control the speed is missing and for some reason the speed changes randomly instead of being constant default fast speed.

(2) Timer Setting – the dip switch that should set the timer and choose between 60 or 90 seconds is missing.

The (1) speed bug takes the fun out of the game because the turbo speed was meant to be used for very short periods of time – only one or two seconds at a time. At the turbo speed it is extremely difficult to navigate pac and make the desired turns, and at the original pac speed (which should never even occur in this game) it is too slow to make it in time before the timer runs out – so whenever the speed randomly becomes turbo or original pac speed - the game becomes worthless…

If you need more information I would gladly help.

Steps To Reproduce Activate the game normally. It will happen every time.

If you're not sure what to look for, just notice pac's speed, then loos a life by hitting a ghost, then notice that his speed changed. finish a level, notice his speed changed again.
Additional Information
Github Commit
Flags Possible
Regression Version
Affected Sets / Systems mschamp, mschamps
Attached Files
jpg file icon AA00601P.JPG (478,043 bytes) Feb 10, 2014, 11:09 Uploaded by Osso
Zola Puc Gal PCB
There are no relationship linked to this issue.
User avatar
Feb 3, 2014, 21:02
edited on: Feb 3, 2014, 21:55
I'll repeat what I posted from Web in response to your forum post:

As has been mentioned, please be sure you are using a current build for the example. There was a new parent set added in 0.138u1 - which is now called "mschamp". The old set is now "mschamps". Which one do you have access to? Are you 100% sure the romsets match? Are the copyrights/title screen showing the same between MAME and your arcade?

It's entirely possible an input that is unused in the normal mspacman sets is used for this function (speed up button). Other DIPS (Timer) might also be tied to currently unmapped areas of memory.

The top things that will help with these issues is to provide:

-Video of the game running - illustrating the speed differences and the timer options.
-ROM images from this machine if it's not a 100% match to any Zola set in MAME (mschamp, mschamps)
-DIP switch information related to the timer from the board itself or any related documents which could be scanned or photo'd

Once you can get some of this evidence together, you can attach such evidence to this report. The more supporting 'proof' you have, the more likely someone will be able to fix it quickly. This doesn't mean no one believes you, but until you can prove your machine you have access doesn't have modified ROM to what is already in MAME - there isn't a lot that can be validated. Word of mouth only goes so far - we need visual evidence.
User avatar
Feb 3, 2014, 22:44
Hello Tafoid.
My sincere apology, until this moment I have not seen that either you or Trebor have replied to my forum post. I don't know how i missed it.

1. Regarding using the latest 0.152. It has been tested with the same result. I thought it's the obvious version to try, and just wanted to also show I have tried different MAME samples from over the years.

2. Regarding "mschamp"/"mschamps": we tried both on all of the mentioned MAMEs & OS.

3. Copyrights/ title screen are indeed showing the same between MAME and the arcade (a years and a half ago, when we thought our arcade is about to die on us, we took notes and wrote everything. I compared it and it matches exactly, so I'm not only talking from memory) .

4. Regarding Video of the game running/Documents/etc: almost 2 month ago our beloved machine has had its last breath, and is now in the graveyard, so unfortunately I cannot provide such evidence.

With that said:
I've been playing this game for 20 years, along with other games from the pacman family.
I have played it on Multiple arcade machines, and know exactly how it should behave. Unfortunately, on MAME it's behaving so differently and so inconsistently, that it is very easy to understand there's a Major gameplay Problem.

Regarding your final say about needing an evidence: Just follow my "Steps To Reproduce": Any person who have ever played a Pacman (/Puckman) game in his life will intuitively notice that something is wrong.
Just try and see for yourself.

Thank you very much for taking the time to help!
For me just finding out about this place and seeing people like yourself is almost too good to be true.

Cheers :)
User avatar
Senior Tester
Feb 6, 2014, 00:46
Do you have any pictures or physical evidence? Perhaps transcribe your notes and post them. The more concrete the evidence the better. Again, it's not that we don't believe you, it's just that the way things are done here, we need cold, hard facts.

Also, thank YOU very much for also taking the time to help. It's a joint effort to continually improve MAME, and we couldn't do it without people like yourself, either.

I'm marking this Acknowledged for now and adding the Possible flag.
User avatar
Feb 6, 2014, 11:52
Hey BarnacleEd ,Thanks for getting involved and helping :)

So, I've been going through Youtube videos to try and find some concrete evidence. Here are my findings:
(Please note that none of this videos are mine)

First Video (machine):

This video starts with "Ms. Pacman Champion Edition", and then goes into "Super Zola Pac Gal" (there's a dip switch to choose between both games):
0:00 Video starts with pac in "default fast speed", just like it should.
2:10 Pac's speed slows down drastically. That's normal for the game and should happen when there are only 5 more seconds on the timer. it result in him loosing a life, and then going back to default high speed (again, like it should).
3:04 losses another life. speed stays the same.
4:56 losses another life. speed stays the same.
7:35 changes the dip switch to "Super Zola Pac Gal"
10:25 losses a life. speed stays the same.

This video is to show everything as it should happen.
unfortunately it seems like the guys filming it didn't know the game well enough, and didn't use the turbo button (i guess they didn't know that there is one).
Also, they didn't talk about the timer dip-switch.

Second video (MAME)

Please note that because it's not my video I don't know what MAME version he's using. The video is from 2011.

0:00 Video starts with pac in "default fast speed", just like it should.
2:13 losses a life. Speed slows down to "original ms pacman speed" - which should never even occur in this game(!).
2:57 looses a life. nothing changes, still slow (original ms pacman speed). As I said- lossing a life in MAME has inconsistent results. it is possible for nothing to change.
3:20 losses a life, again nothing changes.
3:30 finish the level, speed changes to "default fast speed"
3:50 losses a life. Again speed changes to slow original ms pacman speed (..which should never even occur in this game).

Regarding evidence for the Turbo button and the timer dip switch:
My guys and myself all went through our stuff and found an old VHS from 2003/2005.
It suppose to have moments of us using the turbo button, and the timer on the screen shows 90 seconds (and not 60 seconds like it does here)
It doesn't go into showing dip switches or anything, it was filmed for the fun of us playing, so no hard cold evidence there.
Will this video help?
If so, ill make sure to find a way to convert and upload it.

Thanks again
User avatar
Senior Tester
Feb 6, 2014, 16:33
If you can find a way to convert that video, it would help, yes. The more evidence the better, and you certainly provide excellent information. Thank you again, as well. :3
User avatar
Feb 8, 2014, 14:33
More Evidence: Turbo Button and timer dip switch:

(I'm trying to be as thorough as possible, so it's going to be another long post)

We managed to convert the old VHS from 2005, and did a comparison within MAME itself as well.
Here goes.. :)

MAME zola speed test with and without TURBO side-by-side:

This is a comparison from within MAME. As said, Pac speed on MAME is random, so we took 2 videos:
The video on the RIGHT side shows Pac in "default fast speed"
The video on the LEFT side shows Pac in "turbo fastest speed".
Note that the "Inky", the blue ghost, has the exact same exiting route on both clips. Only in turbo-speed Pac can manage to pass him and not lose a life.

Some videos showing Pre Game: copyrights, title screen, demo game (not actual gameplay)-
Note that the timer on this videos shows 1:30 (90 seconds), and not 60 second like on MAME. There should be a dip switch to choose between both options.

Ms Pacman Champion Edition Super Zola Pac Gal pre game pt. 1

Ms Pacman Champion Edition Super Zola Pac Gal pre game pt. 2

Ms Pacman Champion Edition Super Zola Pac Gal pre game pt. 3

Videos showing Turbo button in use:

Original gameplay with NO USE of the turbo button:

Original gameplay WITH the use of the turbo button:

It is a bit hard to see, so I'll break it down:
Notice between 0m56s and 1m09s, when Pac just go left and right over and over (Lets call each pass from one side to the other side a "run")- the start of his "run" is in "default fast speed", and then, about a third of the way in his "run", the turbo button is pushed and his speed changes to "turbo fastest speed".
It is being pressed on and off for less than 1 second at a time.
A bit hard to notice, but watch it a few time and it becomes clear.

To conclude, in my last note I've shown speed malfunction in MAME, and now showed evidence of a Turbo button and Timer dip switch. I don't think it's possible to gather more information about this subject than what has been presented here.

Because I'm new here, I don't really know how it goes from here. Is there anything else I can do to help? How do I know if someone takes it upon themselves to try and resolve those issues? Is the "[possible]" flag going to be removed?

Again, thanks allot for everyone involved in this amazing community!!
You're doing a HOLY WORK!
User avatar
Senior Tester
Feb 8, 2014, 18:42
Your evidence is excellent, thank you very much. Would you happen to have pictures of the control panel of the machine itself showing a turbo button? I think that would be the final nail in the coffin to cement this as a true bug.

As for the possible flag, I'll defer to Tafoid and the devs, but the amount of evidence you've gathered is incredible. You seem very passionate about this game and getting it working correctly in MAME, and we'll do our best to make things right. Thank you. :3
User avatar
Feb 9, 2014, 10:36
I don't have pictures of the control panel, and don't have a way of find any.. Plus.. It's just a button, nothing special to it..
I showed in the videos a repetitive use of the turbo function from the original game. I don't think it can get any better than that, and I think it's much more important than seeing the button itself.

Indeed I'm very passionate about this game. It has a nostalgic quality to it, because this is the game that introduced our group of friends to pacman games.
Plus, this is the only game from the pacman family that is not working properly on MAME.

Making this work would mean that the "series" is complete - it would mean that all of the pacman-family games are working. For us it's invaluable.

Can you pleas help explaining me how it goes from here? I read everything in the "help" section, but still don't really get it-
what does it takes now in order to change the status to "confirmed" and then to assign it?
is there a line of problems that need fixing, and mine is getting in the line?
Is each problem being assigned to someone to solve?
Is there a chance my posts will go unnoticed?

Sorry for all the question, I'm just a bit lost..
Thanks again :)
User avatar
Feb 9, 2014, 16:57
Playing the game, I noticed that if you keep pressed the key for player 2's left (default is D), you get the turbo effect. Can you confirm that's how the turbo button should work?
User avatar
Feb 9, 2014, 22:10
Hey Osso, thanks for getting involved!

Indeed, I can confirm that's how the turbo button should work.
When Pac is in "default fast speed" (as it should) and you press and hold "D", pac goes into Turbo speed (just as it should).

Unfortunately, as i said, Pac's speed is very inconsistent, and changes in the beginning of the game, when you loose a life or when you start a new level.
If Pac starts at "original ms pacman speed" (which is too slow for the timer and should never even occur in this game), pressing "D" will make it go to "default fast speed" (or it least it seems that way, I didn't measure it).

Again, thanks very much for helping! It is much appreciated !
User avatar
Feb 10, 2014, 11:07
edited on: Feb 10, 2014, 11:13
Ok, one mystery is partially solved, then.

I attach a photo of the PCB Andy Welburn dumped, can you remember if yours was the same? Do you remember which dip-switch controlled the 60-90 seconds option?
User avatar
Feb 10, 2014, 13:07
What a great find!
Unfortunately though, I don't remember..
We used to have a "technician" who knew all the ins and outs of the PCB, and was the one who did everything on the dip-switches (Unfortunately I don't have a way of finding him..)
I did see the PCB more than once in my life, and though the one in the photo sure looks like it, It would be false for me to try to confirm it based just on my memory..

btw, did you reproduce the inconsistency in Pac's speed and can confirm it?

User avatar
Feb 10, 2014, 14:39
Yes, I can confirm the speed issue and I can also confirm that it's possible to change the time limit through a combination of dip-switches (I managed to get as low as 0:30 and as high as 1:30), but I haven't been able to hook them up the correct way yet.
User avatar
Feb 10, 2014, 15:39
That really made me happy!!
I'll wait patiently for further developments.

thank you so much for helping!!
User avatar
Mar 16, 2014, 15:53
Hey again Osso,
any news?

I don't want to be a pain, it just that I have no idea how this whole "assigned->solved" thing works.
Is there a line that my bug is waiting in or something?

again, I'm not trying to be a pain, I know you guys have allot of work and you're doing it all voluntarily.
Me and my guys are really appreciative and thankful for that!

It's just that everyone keeps asking me about it so I thought I'll just come here and ask (we're organizing a reunion of our pacman club for when the fix for this game is out, so everyone is super excited).

User avatar
Senior Tester
Mar 17, 2014, 19:01
I can assure you that it's being worked on along with numerous other things. Just be patient while we figure it all out and try to get it right.
User avatar
Mar 19, 2014, 07:56
there is not a line or anything like that. Bugs are registered here and devs may look at them. Since devs are volunteers, noone assigns them bugs.
There are bugs that have been registered here for years but haven't been resolved because they're not trivial or because no dev has taken an interest in them.
I had a look but I'm not good enough to solve the issue, sorry. If you're lucky, some other dev will have a look in the near future, otherwise it will stay registered as "confirmed" until someone solves it.
Probably not the answer you were hoping for, but the honest one. :(
User avatar
Mar 31, 2015, 11:20
Any progress on this bug. One cannot submit high scores to or if this is not fixed
User avatar
Dec 16, 2021, 20:01
Hi Osso or Admin or MameTesters

Osso have mentioned:
"Yes, I can confirm the speed issue and I can also confirm that it's possible to change the time limit through a combination of dip-switches (I managed to get as low as 0:30 and as high as 1:30), but I haven't been able to hook them up the correct way yet."

Can you please post here the combination of dip switches that are able to to the timer correct to 1:30?

Note: Can the private youtube vidoes above be made public or viewable again? Those are the evidence posted but do show blank screens in the forum above.

Kind Regards
Francois du Toit
User avatar
Senior Tester
Dec 16, 2021, 22:41
if the speed is random I'd guess it's reading an open bus address, so getting different states depending on what is on the bus. probably just needs a proper handler installed for an address that doesn't have one.
User avatar
Jun 17, 2022, 07:05
edited on: Jun 17, 2022, 07:07
Hello again,

Any progress with this bug?
I made the videos public again...

I want to summarize:
- We need to fix the random speed bug. The speed should be always fast (The turbo speed happens only when the button D is pressed).
- We need to have access to control the timer. Now it's always 60 seconds, we need to add the ability to change it to 30 and 90 seconds as well.

I also made a short video showing all the 3 different speeds: