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1001 Video GamesThe 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 versionThe 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 versionsWhen 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.
BookSchiffer Books has released a Pac-Man collectibles value guide.
Cancelled Colecovision portYou 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.
CartoonDuring 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.
CerealPac-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 versionIn 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.
DevelopmentAs 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.
GhostsThe 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.
PC versionIt'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.
InnovationsAccording to www.classicnesseries.com, Pac-Man was the first character in a video game.
ReferencesDuring 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 gamePac-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.
SalesIt is estimated that Pac-Man -- both in its coin-op arcade and console incarnations -- has been played over 10,000,000,000 times.
SongPac-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.
TitleWhen 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 versionThe 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.
- Retro Gamer
- October 2004 (Issue #9) – #10 Best Game Of All Time (Readers' Vote)
Information also contributed by Игги Друге, gamewarrior, Guy Chapman, J. Michael Bottorff, LepricahnsGold, Little Yoda, Maw, Paul Budd, Robbb, rstevenson, Sciere, woods01 and FatherJack
Contributed by Trixter (9114) on May 26, 1999. [revised by : FatherJack (62726), Patrick Bregger (263374) and S Olafsson (52312)]. -- edit trivia