Description official descriptions
One of the most popular and influential games of the 1980's, Pac-Man stars a little, yellow dot-muncher who works his way around to clear a maze of the various dots and fruit which inhabit the board.
Pac-Man's goal is continually challenged by four ghosts: The shy blue ghost Bashful ("Inky"), the trailing red ghost Shadow ("Blinky"), the fast pink ghost Speedy ("Pinky"), and the forgetful orange ghost Pokey ("Clyde"). One touch from any of these ghosts means loss of a life for Pac-Man.
Pac-Man can turn the tables on his pursuers by eating one of the four Power-Pills located around the maze. During this time, the ghosts turn blue, and Pac-Man can eat them for bonus points. This only lasts for a limited amount of time as the ghosts' eyes float back to their center box and regenerate to chase after Pac-Man again.
Survive a few rounds of gameplay, and be treated to humorous intermissions starring Pac-Man and the ghosts.
- Pac Man - Alternate Apple II media spelling
- アーケードアーカイブス パックマン - Japanese Switch spelling
- パックマン - Japanese spelling
- 小精靈 - Chinese spelling (traditional - Taiwan)
- 食鬼 - Chinese spelling (traditional - Hong Kong)
- Arcade Archives series
- Arcade Game Series
- Classic NES / Famicom Mini / NES Classics releases
- Games involved in legal disputes
- Games made into TV series
- Games referenced in literature
- Games referenced in movies
- Genre: Labyrinth / Maze
- Pac-Man games (licensed)
- Video games turned into board / card games
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Credits (Arcade version)
|Pac-Man Atarisoft / Datasoft releases||S Olafsson (56515)||2016-05-02 13:21:30|
|Channel F version should be split||Игги Друге (46172)||2014-02-01 04:20:21|
|Famicom Mini series: (alternate) titles||yenruoj_tsegnol_eht (!!ihsoy) (2597)||2012-08-10 14:17:16|
1001 Video Games
The Arcade version of Pac-Man appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.
Apple II version
The Apple II version was originally released as Taxman by H.A.L. Labs, but after threatening a lawsuit, Atari turned around and bought the program to release as their Apple II version of Pac-Man with slight changes.
Atari 2600 versions
When Pac-Man was released for the Atari 2600, over a million units were sold. But because of Hardware limitations, it did not look like the arcade one. The ghost were the same color, you had to eat square blocks instead of dots, and the whole image just didn't stand up. Although this helped gained Atari some bucks, it tarnished its reputation, which would follow them for years to come.
Due to copyright issues, Ébivision never released their Atari 2600 version of Pac-Man for public sale. A copy, with label and box, was given away to Jeff Rothkopf for being the first person to find the hidden level in Alfred Challenge.
Schiffer Books has released a Pac-Man collectibles value guide.
Cancelled Colecovision port
You might notice that there is a certain system missing at the top of this page, namely the Colecovision. This is particularly strange considering the fact that a working Atarisoft prototype of Pac-Man for Colecovision, complete with working AI, graphics and sound, has been discovered and dumped. One can only guess that the release was cancelled by looking at the copyright date of 1983, coinciding with the big video game crash.
During the height of its popularity, Pac-Man had a Saturday morning TV cartoon that focused on Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man, and (in later seasons) Super Pac-Man. The show lasted for several seasons, and also had a Christmas special. The later game, Pac-Land, based its visual style off of this series.
Pac-Man was popular enough to have a breakfast cereal based on the game. The cereal was a combination of cereal "dots" and marshmallows based on the characters. The first marshmallows were Pac-Man (yellow), Inky (blue), Blinky (red), Pinky (pink) and Clyde (orange). As time went on, Ms. Pac-Man and larger Super Pac-Man marshmallows were added.
The tag line was "You can do the Pac-Man", with kids stretching their arms out and clapping to emulate Pac-Man's eating motions.
Commodore VIC-20 version
In Japan HAL Laboratory held the home computer rights for Pac-Man. They made the original VIC-20 conversion which was released by Commodore over there in 1981. To get around the licensing restrictions, Commodore released the game as "Jelly Monsters" in the US and Europe a whole year before the official Atari VCS version hit the market, much to the chagrin of Atari the license holder for those regions. Atari filed a lawsuit which they won, removing Jelly Monsters from the shelves. In 1983 Atarisoft released their own, largely considered inferior VIC-20 version.
As the story goes, one of the Namco's designers (Namco being the company that created the original arcade version) ordered a whole pizza for himself. After eating one of the slices, he looked at the pizza again. And thus, Pac-Man was born.
The four enemy ghost characters, Oikake, Machibuse, Kimagure and Otoboke, from the original Japanese version of Pac-Man were thoughtfully and descriptively renamed to match their in game behavior. Shadow (red), Speedy (pink), Bashful (blue) and Pokey (orange) are the westernized names of the four ghosts. Additionally they also received new nicknames, Blinky, Pinky, Inky and Clyde. Only Pinky has the same nickname in both Japanese and western versions of Pac-Man.
According to www.classicnesseries.com, Pac-Man was the first character in a video game.
It's clear that the advertising execs who wrote the advertising blurb for the PC port hadn't played the game seriously. The ad blurb calls the ghosts "goblins", and erroneously describes gameplay.
In fact, of all Atarisoft PC conversions, this was one of the more shoddy ones as the maze's proportions are out of whack. In addition, the programmer was lazy--the entire maze is drawn with the INT 10 set pixel function, which is why it's so slow.
During the later levels, the special item in the middle of the level (cherry, strawberry, apple, etc.) is a Galaxian. The Galaxian comes from an earlier Namco game of the same name.
References to the game
Pac-Man is referenced in the Futurama episode Anthology of Interest II. The episode consists of three shorts; one of which involves Fry asking the "what-if" machine "what if life was more like a video game." In the short, aliens invade the earth; then Fry and his friends seek the help of Secretary of Defense Colin Pac-Man. Also in the short, Fry and friends have to navigate a Pac-Man styled maze.
It is estimated that Pac-Man -- both in its coin-op arcade and console incarnations -- has been played over 10,000,000,000 times.
Pac-Man was the first video game to inspire a popular pop song, which was played on the radio, had a full-length record and a single. The song in question was Buckner and Garcia's Pac-Man Fever.
Rapper Lil Flip's hit song, Game Over uses sound effects from Pac-Man. But the bad thing is Lil Flip never got permission from Namco to use the sounds and was later sued.
When the game first appeared in Japanese arcades in 1979, it was called Puck-Man. When Midway ported to America, the company decided to re-name it Pac-Man because they were concerned that English speaking players might vandalize the "Puck" to spell a certain swear word.
Pac-Man's name is derived from the Japanese adverb 'paku' used to describe gaping, biting or snapping mouths. 'Paku' is also an onomatopoeia modelled after the smacking sound of lips. This could explain the sound Pac-Man emits when moving around.
Xbox 360 version
The Xbox Live! Arcade version stays true to the original gameplay and look, with the addition of improved graphics and sounds, leaderboards and achievements. The game itself was already included as a secret in Ridge Racer 6.
- Electronic Gaming Monthly
- November 1997 (Issue 100) - ranked #89 (Best 100 Games of All Time) (Genesis / SNES versions)
- November 1997 (Issue 100) - ranked #11 (Titles That Revolutionized Console Gaming) (Arcade version)
- Retro Gamer
- October 2004 (Issue #9) – #10 Best Game Of All Time (Readers' Vote)
- The Strong National Museum of Play
- 2015 – Inducted into the World Video Game Hall of Fame
Information also contributed by Игги Друге, gamewarrior, Guy Chapman, J. Michael Bottorff, LepricahnsGold, Little Yoda, Maw, Paul Budd, Robbb, rstevenson, Sciere, woods01 and FatherJack
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1st Church of Pac-Man
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X360A achievement guide
X360A's achievement guide for Pac-Man.
- MobyGames ID: 138
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Contributors to this Entry
Game added by Trixter.
Neo Geo Pocket Color, Game Boy Advance added by Corn Popper. Commodore 64, NES, Atari 2600, Intellivision added by PCGamer77. Wii U added by Michael Cassidy. Nintendo 3DS added by CrankyStorming. Nintendo Switch added by Rik Hideto. Sharp MZ-80K/700/800/1500, Sharp MZ-80B/2000/2500, FM-7, Sharp X1 added by Infernos. PC-8000 added by OmegaPC777. Windows Phone, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Wii added by Sciere. Android, Sharp Zaurus, Palm OS, Windows added by Kabushi. MSX added by Martin Smith. BlackBerry added by Pseudo_Intellectual. PC-88 added by Terok Nor. Arcade added by The cranky hermit. Atari 8-bit, ZX Spectrum, VIC-20, Atari 5200, Apple II, TI-99/4A added by Servo. PC-6001, Game Gear added by Игги Друге. iPhone added by Ben K. PC-98 added by j.raido 【雷堂嬢太朗】. Game Boy added by Jim Fun. Genesis added by Arctic Circle System.
Additional contributors: Jeanne, Guy Chapman, Alaka, vileyn0id_8088, monkeyislandgirl, formercontrib, Yearman, Patrick Bregger, Starbuck the Third, S Olafsson, Rik Hideto, LLC, FatherJack, ZeTomes, firefang9212, SoMuchChaotix.
Game added May 26th, 1999. Last modified May 9th, 2023.