The love for the unknown in CD-i gaming is insatiable and seemingly boundless from the resent sugar rush of unreleased prototypes surfacing after decades of oblivion. Even games that were released are not immune to this trend as we take a look back at the game that launched Philips Advanced Development and Support (ADS) as developers in Pac-Panic the Missing Frames.
Without a doubt it was the introductory animation to Lemmings that put Johnny Wood on the map for his creative playful approach to game design bringing an extra incentive to the CD-i version of this multi-platform franchise. Given exclusive access to the design documents for the CD-i conversion of Pac-Panic we can reveal that the same treatment was planned for this game. Stating that amongst other enhancements the CD-i conversion would have a 60 second RL7 animation introducing the game. It's estimated that this would take 2 weeks to implement and in a business where time was money the powers that be decided to cut this feature. Fortunately for us a storyboard of this proposed introduction was sketched by Johnny complete with a rough plot to promote the idea as follows...
Pacman Returns - MegaPie Factory
- 1. Boy delivers paper to Pac house.
- 2. Lands on mat.
- 3. Pac Dog gets it.
- 4. Pac Man walks followed by baby.
- 5. Hand operates door.
- 6. Pac Mobile springs open - No start.
- 7. Pac Man loads power pills.
- 8. Pac Man on gear stick.
- 9. Pac Mobile 'Revs' up.
- 10. Zooms out of shot, with PAC-PANIC number plate, "Pac-Baby" spotted on board.
- 11. Driving shots.
- 12. Pulls up at warehouse "Pacmans Mega Pie Factory".
- 13. Pacman opens upto amazing pie machine, walks past.
- 14. Conveyor belt runs.
- 15. Eyes pop behind changing, cherries etc (lemons).
- 16. Crates go to stack, eyes twinkle behind them.
- 17. Pac Man goes into secret doors, magic glowing crate.
- 18. Suddenly it gets hoisted up, as he locks up something kicks him in and slams door.
- 19. Stars. He turns and bangs.
- 20. Ghosts outside brick it up laughing.
- 21. Pac jumps up for crate, no luck...
- 22. Ghosts dance etc...
- 23. Ghosts put crate onto stack? Still on rope conveyor, 1 pill rolls out.
- 24. Hand grabs them from crate, they whoosh in, eyes pop out.
- 25. All other ghosts look up (?!) whats going on.
- 26. Pac Baby leaps out, chews dummy, ties sheets together.
- 27. Does the "Loverman" trick, knocking power pills down line.
- 28. Above trap, she swipes it open, and they all fall into tank.
- 29. Ghosts gulp look at each other "chomp" chomp...
- 30. Cut to ghosts a burp is heard.
- 31. Tank starts rumbling and glowing.
- 32. Short pause.
- 33. Smash - Pacs Back.
- Pac ghosts scarring kids. Look in mirror, see Pac face.
- Car eats ghosts, eyes fly out.
- Pacman stops. Kids cheer. Pac Mans Wink, thumbs up "Pacmans Back".
- Screeches off, comes back, hand grabs icecream/sweets zooms off again, "And he's hungry".
Confused? We asked Johnny about Pacmans 'MegaPie Factory' inspired writings!
"It's interesting to see the script... There's a story behind Mega Pies. I dont even remember this script! When we were at the ADS, we'd go to the supermarket to get pies (which we lived off). A friend from the midlands was round, the prop maker for the Guns (see Interview with Johnny Wood 'Rethink that Deadline' memo). There became a bit of a challenge amongst him and myself to find the largest, lardiest pie on sale. Which we called the mythical 'Megapie'! One day he won, he'd gone to liddle or some cheap supermarket and bought this pie. He drew it out of the bag... and said 'Behold... The MEGAPIE"... And sure enough it did actually say Megapie on the label! Another 'you have to have been there' anecdote."
Article written by Devin
With many thanks to Johnny Wood for his excellent storyboard and thoughts!