This came from Kotaku reader Daniel, who is friends with Chad H., a librarian at the U. of North Carolina. Chad and his girlfriend, Melissa, recently constructed an arcade cocktail table using IKEA furniture and an old laptop. Building on that success, and his girl's love for Ms. Pac-Man, Chad set out to make an in-game proposal.
First he intended to create a custom level, with the dots spelling out the question. "I quickly realized this was essentially impossible - I'd have to learn how to hex edit a level by hand, from the ground up. So I turned to altering the graphics somewhere in the game."
But his searching turned up an old ROM editing program called Turaco, which hadn't been updated since 2000 and only runs in MS-DOS (and not at all in Vista.) Using that, he edited the "Act 1" scene board to spell out the proposal.
Chad writes that, for all the work, the message itself was only on the screen briefly and could easily be missed. So he talked Melissa into playing the game, and told her to pay special attention during the first intermission. Good news, it worked! And you can see it animated here.
Congratulations Chad and the future Mrs. Chad! Now, just remember what happened in Act. 3 ...
Ms. Pac-Man Engagement [Hidden Peanuts, thanks Daniel]